Amanda Jane Baker, aged 61, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday morning, March 9th, 2021 in the company of her beloved husband Joseph (Joe) Maxey Baker, and sister Gina Patricia Stead. Amanda Jane (also known as Mandy or Lala to her UK family and AJ to her US family) was born on June 20th, 1959 in Manchester, England, the second of 4 daughters for Norman Frederick (Slim) Lydon and Margaret Patricia (Pat) Lomas.
Mandy spent her first 40 years living in the UK, travelling extensively and building a career in Public Relations and Event Management. She then met her soulmate Joe, they married on April 22, 2000 at ST. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, Madison, MS, and ‘AJ’ moved to Biloxi, MS to be with him and his three beautiful daughters. Two decades of wonderful family memories were made, taking in many new friends along the way as AJ and Joe moved to Madison, MS, and later to Miramar Beach, FL.
AJ was loved by all who knew her. She cared deeply for family and friends and was kind and thoughtful in everything she did. It was impossible to remain at arm’s length with her; she welcomed everyone in with her warm and genuine personality. She was especially good with children, giving her grandchildren, nieces and nephews lots of attention, ensuring they felt special and loved. She was a devoted daughter, dividing her time between the US and UK so that she could care for her ailing father and her beloved mother. AJ and Joe enjoyed special holidays in Europe with their girls, and their UK family visited them often, allowing AJ to showcase her incredible homemaking skills. She was generous to all with her time and support, and had impeccable taste, relishing in finding perfect personal, meaningful gifts, especially at Christmas, which she loved. For the last 4.5 years of her wonderful, joyous life, AJ battled stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She decided early on that she was not going to be defined by it, that she was going to continue to live with love, a sense of fun, gratitude, hope and faith. She became a strong advocate for pancreatic cancer awareness and supported many new acquaintances on pancreatic cancer support sites through difficult times. Her positivity and inspiration shone through every word and deed and her huge, caring heart touched everyone she met.
She is preceded in death by her father Slim, and Joe’s parents Joseph M. and Blanche Baker, Sr. She is survived by her husband Joe, daughters Jacqueline (Zach) Lewis, Jenna Marie Baker, and Jane-Claire (Dwight) Davison, her mother Pat, her sisters Margaret, Wendy and Gina (Andrew), her nephews Neil (Stacey), James and Sam, her niece Gabi (Liam), her grandchildren Cade and Eliza Lewis and Preston Davison, her great nephews and nieces Callum, Keelan, Kadi, Alesha, Kenzie, Junior and Ollie, and many much-loved aunts, uncles and cousins.
The Celebration of Life ceremony will be Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 2:00 PM CDT (7:00PM locally in the United Kingdom) at ST. Matthew’s United Methodist Church with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Natchez Trace Memorial Park Cemetery Monday, March 22, 2021 at 9:30 AM. The ceremony will be live-streamed for those that can’t attend in person at www.stm-umc.org/live .
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, monetary donations in her name be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN) at www.pancan.org or if in the UK, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at www.justgiving.com/pancreaticcancer . In addition, the family would like to thank the wonderful medical professionals that treated Amanda including Dr Holland Addison of Baptist Premier Medical Group in Jackson, Mississippi, Dr Mose Hayes, Erin Johnson and the rest of the team at the Ascension Sacred Heart Oncology Group in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Dr Robert Wolff and his team of medical specialists at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.