Cover photo for Wanda Rheuark Baker's Obituary
Wanda Rheuark Baker Profile Photo
1957 Wanda 2011

Wanda Rheuark Baker

January 18, 1957 — April 1, 2011

Wanda Rheuark Baker knew the world. She lived in Africa, Taiwan and California in her childhood, as a member of a family that served the United States government, and she traveled as an adult to Europe and elsewhere. Friends valued her as a talented artist and performer with an enthusiastic passion for culture wherever she found it.

Wanda was born January 18, 1957, in Cheverly, MD. She passed from this world on April 1, 2011.

"Wanda radiated light in every direction," said her longtime friend, Judy Rushin. "She was devilishly playful and had the most exquisite voice in the entire world. She would look straight at you with her brilliant blue eyes and sing like a siren and you'd be utterly helpless. So many of my important memories feature Wanda -- and most involve howling laughter. Everywhere I look I see her influence on my life. She is viscerally and endlessly with me."

In recent years, Wanda aspired to master Flamenco dancing and the art of Flamenco singing. She fell in love with Flamenco after a vacation to Spain where she witnessed the dance form in the cafes and clubs where it originated. Afterward, she contacted and befriended world-class Flamenco performers, visiting them personally when they came to Atlanta.

Wanda's intellectual curiosity and her spiritual quest brought her into contact with Buddhism, which became her adopted faith. Her engagement led to meetings with high-ranking officials of that faith.

Wanda went to high school in California and Taipei, Taiwan, and graduated from the University of Hawaii. She trained as a classical pianist and as a lyric soprano, adapting her musical talents to front pop music groups that played prominent Atlanta venues. For years, she kept cockatiels and she adored her dachshunds, Carly and Max. Wanda was sweet and kind, caring and generous and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Wanda was preceded in death by her parents, Christena and Carl Rheuark of Downey, CA, and a beloved sister, Elizabeth "Libby" Wood, of Las Vegas, NV.

She is survived by her husband, Mark Baker, of Atlanta and three nieces, Stephanie Crispin, Sheena Wood and Sabrina Hutchinson, each of Las Vegas. She also leaves several aunts and an uncle: Hazel Craig, Burlington, NC; Myrtle Turner, Graham, NC; Erlo Leeson, Oak Harbor, WA; Helen Carson, Solomons, MD; Dee Leeson, Booneville, MS, and numerous cousins spread across the country.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center
1167 C/D Zonolite Place, Atlanta.

Friends who cherish her memory are invited to attend.

Those who wish to remember Wanda should please donate in her name to a favorite charity.

Funeral Home:
A. S. Turner & Sons
2773 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wanda Rheuark Baker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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