We are saddened to share that our dad, and my mother's beloved husband, James E. Baker, Sr., Class of 1965 passed away on April 17, 2020, from the coronavirus. Our family is so grateful to everyone who has been praying for us. We truly appreciate every FB comment, text, phone call, card and email.
Since you are reading this, I'm going to take a moment and tell you just a bit about him. He didn’t make any famous discoveries or hold a political office or write the great American novel. Yet he was the most dependable of men, a kind-hearted and quiet servant-leader, and a gentleman’s gentleman. And in a world that often values the loudest, the flashiest and those at the center of attention – it might be easy to mistake his life as simply ordinary or unremarkable.
He was reared in his beloved Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He loved crab cakes, Lou Rawls, everything about Detroit, old western movies, margaritas straight up with salt, and striking up conversations with random strangers. He was the teller of classic dad jokes and always laughed before anyone else did. He loved national parks and spent his summers in college working as one of a handful of African American naturalists at Yellowstone National Park. He deeply loved Lorraine Goggin Baker, his wife of nearly 54 years and his two children -- and he worked hard every day to make sure all of their needs were met. He put two children through college and enabled them to graduate debt free. He was a Pop-Pop to his grand-children, and he always bought them treats from the ice cream truck before dinner and made them his special Pop-Pop Juice every time they came to visit.
He was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc. He sang in the Wilberforce University choir. He had the most amazing tenor voice and sang for years in classical choirs as a soloist. His voice rang out with a simple beauty -- pure, clear, and strong. And he truly loved God and was deeply in awe of a Heavenly Father who is full of unconditional love, grace, and mercy…a Savior who “looked beyond my faults and saw my need.” And that's where he is eternally resting now. So, in fact, his life was quite remarkable.
Finally, so many have asked: “Is there anything we can do?” Since the pandemic doesn't allow for the traditional rituals of a funeral or a repast, please consider making a donation to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in our dad's name: James E. Baker, Sr. Mom and Dad met when they were both students at an HBCU, Wilberforce University, and he would absolutely love the thought of others supporting young Black college students in his memory.
Cards and condolences may be sent to:
Mrs. Lorraine Goggin Baker & Family
29310 Stellamar Dr Southfield, MI 48076
Janice L. Jessup, Class of 1969, departed this life on Friday, April 17, 2020. After having received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Wilberforce, Master’s Degree in Education from Antioch College, a second Master’s Degree in Corrections from Xavier, she later earned a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Janice is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is survived by her sister, Eva Denton, children, Janelle and Jarryd and grandchildren, Melania and Khalil.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to
Eva Jessup Denton
819 Clarence Jordan Ct, Concord, NC 28027
Constance D.R. (Terry) Wilds transitioned peacefully on March 22, 2020. She was born on July 22, 1941 in Stamford, CT to the late Robert and Margaret Terry. Connie graduated from Wilberforce University in 1969, where she received her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. Degree from Fairfield University along with a second Master's Degree in Psychology. Connie was employed with C.T.E. in Stamford as an administrator, before moving on to Western State University where she was a Professor of Black Studies and then later became Dean of Student Affairs. She spent over thirty plus years of service at Western Connecticut State University, before retiring and making Florida her second home. Her community affiliations included Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated was among a handful of pioneers, who created the Afro-Democratic Committee in Stamford. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a sister Edna Davis. Her memory will be cherished by her son, William Wilds (Daisi), two grandchildren, William Wilds, Jr. and Zoey Wilds, two sisters; Ina Cameron-Winn and Hilda Terry, a brother-in-law and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Visitation was held Friday, March 27, 2020 followed by a service of celebration at Graves Medley Funeral Services, 31 Stillwater Ave., Stamford, CT with Rev. Dr. Robert Jackson, Jr. officiating. Entombment took place at Willowbrook Cemetery.
Lorenzo E. Johnson, known on Facebook as Logic Hornes Johnson passed Monday, April 20, 2020. He studied political science/pre-law at Wilberforce University earning his degree in 1987. Lorenzo was a life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and actively supported the Greater New York Alumni Chapter, serving as the recording secretary for several years. He volunteered his time representing the chapter at college and career fairs in the New York area recruiting for Wilberforce University. Lorenzo was the WU Alumni Representative of the Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council of UNCF. Many of us who are a part of the Facebook’s Forcean over forty group looked forward to what thoughts Lorenzo shared and the photos he had of everyone. It was stated he remembered all of their names and campus affiliations. He is survived by his mother, several siblings, nieces, nephews and other family members.
Condolences may be sent to the family using his address, 880 Colgate Ave #19E, Bronx, NY 10473.
DeJuan Franks passed away Sunday, April 19, 2020. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication in 2000. He was the CEO/Owner of the DLF Cleaning Service in Detroit, Michigan, a business he began in 2010. Several friends shared through FB that DeJuan was always the one who looked out for them, very supportive. He had genuine love for anything and anyone from Wilberforce University. Included among his relatives are his father and brother Dre.
Expressions can be sent to his brother, Andre Hillie, 7777 W. McDowell Rd #2073, Phoenix, AZ 85035