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Shelena Gouge Baker, 30, passed away on January 1st, 2019 at the Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge after a long and courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was a member of Big Mountain Baptist Church in Oliver Springs, TN. Shelena came into this world bright-eyed and white-knuckled, and she lived her life with a passion and strength admired by all who knew her. Her vivacious personality, kind heart, and warrior spirit impacted all those with whom she came in contact. She taught us all so many lessons in what it means to be “Shelena Strong,” resilient and unflinching in the face of adversity. Her greatest joy in life came from her three beautiful children, Hayden, Makenzie, and Madison Baker. It was her love for them that pushed her to fight with every ounce of her being and the reason she never gave up, even at the very end. While our hearts are broken that we no longer have her beautiful soul with us here, we have no doubt that she is now and forever will be in the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We find comfort in knowing that she is reunited with loved ones, celebrating in a new body that cancer cannot touch, and that she will never know suffering, pain, or death again.
She is preceded in death by her father, Jerry Lynn Gouge, and her sister, Vanessa Rose Gouge. Grandparents: Rena Liles and James Gouge, and Anna West Lively and Jesse Loyd West. Aunts: Jewel Wilson Gouge, Wilma Gouge Edwards, Jane Gouge Marsh, Sue Gouge Pelfrey, Patsy Moore Gouge, Kay Gouge Gamble, and Carol Windham Daugherty. Uncles: Randall West, James “Dusty” Marsh, Franklin “Joe” Tarner, Billy Gouge, and Loyd Edwards. Cousins: David Edwards, Billy Lee Gouge, Sandy Cooper Covington, James “Bud” Gouge, Steven McPeters, and Eddie Lee Daugherty.
She is survived by her three children: Hayden Lynn, 11, Makenzie Lauren, 8, and Madison Lacey, 5. Her mother, Beatrice West Gouge. Sisters: Laura Gouge Wilson and husband Tim, and Sarah Gouge King and husband Daniel. Her best friend and father of her children, Dustin “Butch” Baker, and her life partner, Donald Baker. Nephews: Caleb Wilson and wife Samantha, and Brenton Gouge and fiancé Cheri. Nieces: Sierra Wilson and Alyssa King. Great nieces: Taylor Gouge, Raylee Wilson, and Scarlett Gouge. Great-nephew: Caleb Shadoan.
Aunts: Rose Gouge Tarner, Opal Gouge Covington, Nan West Reynolds, Mary West Russell and husband Donald Ray, Kathy West Russell and husband Eugene, Teena Gouge Jones and husband David, Susan Gouge Jenkins, and Sue Woods. Uncles: James “Jimmy” Gouge, James West and wife Glenna, Tommy Gamble, Don Pelfrey, Roy West, Larry Daugherty, Eddie Windham and wife Donna, Frank Windham and wife Sherry, Robert West, Donnie West and wife Donna, Danny West, Eddie Dean West and wife Janie, and Richard Gibson.
Special cousins who were like sisters: Gail Gouge Buckley, Christy Tarner, Natasha West, Amber West Duncan, and Brittany Kennedy. Cousins, Josiah and Gabby Covington, and step-daughter, Destiny Baker, all of whom she loved as her own. Mother-in-law: Patti McMahan and husband Charles. Special friends: Tonya Russell Gladdish, Danielle Melton, Amber Jackson Cook, Miami Trent Evans, Jennifer Bunch, and Tiffany Bryant. She is survived by a host of cousins, family, and friends, all of whom she loved with all her heart and will miss her dearly.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Thompson Cancer Survival Center in Oak Ridge for the excellent care they provided Shelena with from the very beginning, especially her oncologist Dr. Repine and Sarah Harder, FNP. We also thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, special nurses Austin Rodrigue and Bobbie Kemnitz House, and the Manley Hospitality House. We thank the people and churches of Coalfield, Oliver Springs, Petros, and surrounding communities, as well as all her prayer warriors in her Facebook prayer group and beyond.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, January 5th, 2019 from 1-4 pm at Schubert’s Funeral Home in Wartburg, TN with the funeral to follow. Pastor Greg Overton of Big Mountain Baptist Church will be officiating. There will be no graveside service as her earthly body will be cremated.
Schubert Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.