The Life and Times of Dorothy Baker
Dorothy E. Baker was born on August 17, 1925 to George and Mabel Randolph. Dorothy was born, schooled, and raised in Lakeland, Florida. Dorothy or “Dot” as she would tell you to call her shared a lot of fond memories of growing up in Lakeland in her family’s house. Dorothy was an only child and was raised with the assistance of her Grandmother Inez. Her family operated a rooming house that would allow guests to stay overnight during their travels. Dorothy had the responsibility to assist the guests by ensuring they had a clean room and bedding upon arriving.
One of her fondest memories was when guests would come into town and sit out on the property and view the local baseball games held at Henley Field in Lakeland. Henley Field hosted the Major League Baseball Team the Detroit Tiger’s spring training and summer games. She would tell stories of how her grandmother made and sold parched peanuts to the guests and homemade ice cream as they sat around and enjoyed the games from their property. Her family provided hot home cooked southern meals as a part of the stay. Dorothy recalled never having to worry about her food or a place to stay thanks to her family.
Dorothy worked in retail for a time in her life. She also parented 2 children, Tommie McDaniel and Herman Branch. Later in life, she married her high school sweetheart Jesse Baker. She was an amazing wife and mother. One of her favorite things to do was tending to her beautiful rose garden. She was known for having some of the best roses on the block. When she was not reading a good book, cooking for her family, or solving a crossword puzzle, you would find her in her back yard tending to her plants.
Dorothy had an amazing sense of humor, she always had snacks and fruit whenever her grandchildren would come to visit. She was once asked why she always fed them when they walked in the door and her response was, “So you would sit down and be quiet, and it helps to keep Mr. Baker quiet also." It was never a dull moment with her. From her clinging onto her purse, her active participation trying out new hairstyles and fun wigs, to her always demanding in a loving way that she be given multiple kisses throughout the day from her family. The most memorable moment for all was her always saying she would give out "a spanking" for not doing the right thing in life. She meant what she said with love.
Dorothy lived to see her family tribe grow to 6 generations. She is survived by her daughter Tommie McDaniel over 35 grand, great- great-great grandchildren. She is preceded in her death by her husband Jesse Baker, parents George and Mabel Randolph and her son Herman Branch.
Dorothy was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. She always gave the kindest words and advice. She will truly be missed by all that had the privilege of knowing or interacting with her.