In Memoriam: Comrade Ann Baker

August 30, 2021

The League for the Revolutionary Party mourns the death on August 15 of Ann Baker. She was a founding member of the LRP in 1976, a long-time hospital worker and the companion and wife of Comrade Eric Josephson. Eric wrote this moving tribute and account of her last struggles.

Early Sunday morning, August 15, Comrade Ann Baker, my beloved wife and companion of 42 years, died peacefully after a long illness. She had been ill on and off for the last 3 years, ncluding with covid-19 at least once and had apparently successful brain surgery in fall, 2018 (result of smoking, which she quit 3 years ago. Don't Smoke!) She spent her last 6 months in hospitals in the Bronx. In her last 3 weeks, she was uncommunicative, but comfortable, and received good medical care at Montefiore Hospital.

She was a lifelong socialist, a Trotskyist, a supporter of the League for the Revolutionary Party, although she was less active in the past few years. Two years ago, however, she helped organize and lead a knock-down, drag-out fight against the rotten 3-person(!) Board of Directors of Farband co-operative housing, where she lived. When many residents, including myself, felt like giving up, Ann kept leafleting, knocking on doors, exhorting residents and pulling them into meetings in the lobby. We won a partial victory: elections, regular, transparent reports, and though the old Directors remain on the Board, they are outvoted by 6 to 3. Ann was elected, of course, but became ill before she could take her seat. Most of her fellow residents admired her, and her opponents respected, even feared her.

She and I were a unit. Her elfin sense of humor kept me laughing, or guessing. I always spoke of "we," not she or I. I still do. With her passing, I feel that I have lost myself. I was so lucky to have been with her.

Her friends, family and comrades will hold a memorial for her, probably this spring. Please, no flowers. To honor her, please donate in her name to an immigrant cause or activity.

Ann: I Love You! I Miss You! Fight to the End!