Obituary: Patricia Jeanne (Baker) Furst, 75, Ludington.

January 15, 2020

Patty Furst

Obituary: Patricia Jeanne (Baker) Furst, 75, Ludington.

The world was brighter because of her smile. Patricia Jeanne (Baker) Furst died peacefully at her Ludington home on January 10, 2020, comforted by her family and the warmth of a crackling fire. 

Born January 2, 1945 in Evanston, Illinois to Capt. Russel L. and Helen Born Baker, Patricia, who preferred the name Patty, worked a variety a jobs throughout her life. These jobs included volunteering at Family Planning, waitressing at The Hubbard House, operating her own day care, and working as a librarian at West Ward Elementary in Allegan. 

   Patty loved life. She had an exuberant laugh and a signature smile that lit a room and the worlds of those who shared that room with her. She continued to smile every day, right to the end of her journey.

As a free spirit and free thinker, Patty firmly believed in eating dessert first and that we should always leave a place better than we found it. To support the latter, she regularly donated and volunteered for charities focused on protecting our land, air and water. 

Patty loved books, especially children’s books, just as she loved children, all children. She loved to travel, shop for shoes and buy socks as gifts. Her family thought of her as a master chef and, with a few exceptions, loved to eat whatever she cooked. 

Close friends and family recognized her talents as a collector. Her collections ranged wide and included scarves from around the world, condiment packets and stir sticks from favorite restaurants, rocks, beach glass, and sometimes even fungus-covered sticks discovered on afternoon walks. These items represented the moments and memories close to her heart, and she tried to cherish them all, big or small. 

Patty loved her family and friends beyond measure. And she was loved in return, as evidenced during her last weeks by an outpouring of visits, flowers, prayers, cards, letters, phone calls and video chats from not only Ludington and her hometown, Allegan, but from around the globe in her final weeks. 

Patty was preceded in death by her daughter, Melissa Thompson; her mother Helen (Born) Baker; her cherished uncle Harvey Baker; her father Dr. Russell Baker; her stepmother, Jean (Boysen) Baker; and her beloved dog, Bailey.  

She is survived by her husband Gene Furst; daughters Tammy Thompson and Teresa (Thompson) Steinburg; son Matthew Furst and daughter-in-law Katie Nollenberger; grandchildren Jeremy Thompson, Alex Steinburg, Kristopher Steinburg, and Althea Nollenberger Furst; great-grandsons Nicholas and Wyatt Steinburg; sisters Mary Baker and Sharon (Baker) Goodrich.

A celebration of life will be held at Jamesport Brewing Company, 410 S. James Street,Ludington, MI on May 2, 2020 from 1 to 5 p.m. when the air is a bit warmer and the sun may shine a little brighter.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you take a moment and read a book to your child or grandchild, and when appropriate, lift a glass of your favorite beverage and give a toast in her name.  Memorial contributions may be made to Sandcastle Children’s Museum, 129 E. Ludington Avenue, PO Box 595, Ludington, MI  49431.

The family would like to express special gratitude to the caring staffs of Mary Free Bed at Mercy Hospital, Muskegon and Hospice of Michigan.

Please share your fond memories and photos of Patty at

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington.

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