HARTWICK — Dr.
Steffie Pullis Baker, 86, of South Street, Hartwick, died early Tuesday
morning, Feb. 2, 1999, at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
Steffie Pullis Baker
She was born on June 9, 1912, in Fuerth, Bovaria, in Southern Germany, a daughter of Simon and Lucy (Mailaender) Buchenbacher. She married Francis Edward Pullis on Nov. 24, 1969, in Cooperstown.
Dr. Baker was raised in Germany and studied medicine for three semesters in Munich during 1932 and 1933. After five years of medical study, done in Italian, at the University of San Marco in Florence, Italy, she graduated in 1938. She then worked in Italian hospitals before leaving for Bolivia, South America. Following about a year of working in a private clinic, learning and speaking Spanish, she took a position as a physician working for the Bolivian government to combat tropical and other infectious diseases of the country. During that time she traveled by mule under the most primitive conditions throughout the mountains and jungles of Bolivia.
On Dec. 23, 1945, Dr. Baker and her mother arrived in New York City, where she interned at Bronx Hospital for one year and then at Flushing Hospital for 10 months. She received her license from the University of the State of New York to practice medicine and surgery on June 26, 1947.
Dr. Baker moved to Hartwick in 1948, and established her own private medical practice, renting office and living space in what is now the American Legion building on Main Street.
In January of 1950, she moved her home and office to South Street, where she treated thousands of patients and delivered hundreds of babies, many of whom were delivered at home.
On October 28, 1978, Dr. Baker was honored by her community with a reception given by the Hartwick Business Association marking her 30 years of dedication to her profession and community and for her staying power. She retired in the fall of 1988.
Dr. Baker enjoyed her friends and the country as well as picking mushrooms, photography, riding her bicycle, traveling and skiing. This country doctor will be greatly missed by her family, friends and community.
She is survived by her husband of 29 years, Fran of Oneonta; one brother and sister-in-law, Hans and Karen Baker of Bayport, Long Island; and one niece, Carol Ann Baker of Port Townsend, Wash.
Friends may call at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown on Saturday, Feb. 6, 1999, from 2 to 4 p.m. when Dr. Baker's family will be in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial donations may be made to a local charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published in The Daily Star on Feb. 4, 1999.