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Secretary of State’s Mother Dies in Houston at 96 With AM-Baker-Mideast

April 26, 1991

HOUSTON (AP) _ Bonner Means Baker, the mother of Secretary of State James A. Baker III and member of one of Houston’s most distinguished families, died early Friday after an apparent heart attack. She was 96.

Baker abruptly ended his Middle East peace mission after receiving news of his mother’s death.

Mrs. Baker apparently suffered a heart attack at her Houston home and was taken by ambulance to Methodist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival, spokeswoman Michelle Smith said.

Mrs. Baker’s husband was Houston lawyer James Addison Baker Jr., the son of Capt. James A. Baker, an original regent of what is now Rice University.

Her husband’s grandfather was Judge James Baker, who in 1872 joined what is today the law firm of Baker & Botts, one of the city’s largest and most prestigious firms.

Her husband died in 1973 at age 80.

Mrs. Baker was born in Gatesville, the daughter of John Coulter Means and Stella Means. She moved to Houston with her parents in 1902.

She was active in the Junior League of Houston, the Garden Club of Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts. She also was a member of First Presbyterian Church.

President Bush called Baker to express condolences.

″Barbara and I have known Mrs. Baker for many years. She was indeed one of God’s special people,″ Bush told reporters at the White House.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

Mrs. Baker also is survived by a daughter, Bonner Baker Moffitt of Columbia, Md.

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