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Dr. Fostenia Baker

Funeral service for Dr. Fostenia W. Baker will be conducted 1 PM Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Meadow Prong Baptist Church, 6933 Meadow Prong Rd., Effingham. Interment will follow in the church cemetery directed by Smith Funeral Home of Florence, LLC.

Dr. Fostenia Willoughby Baker was born on July 4, 1941 to the late Maryland Leon Baker and Pecola Williams Baker in Effingham, South Carolina. She departed her earthly life on January 23, 2020. She was the oldest of 13 children.

During her union with Eugene Gadson, Dr. Baker had two daughters, the late Willa Regenea and Tonya Chevelle.

As His faithful servant, Dr. Baker’s life was centered around God and His word. Her desire was for her children and grandchildren to receive Christ as their personal savior so that they could all be together again one day. Dr. Baker was fond of the relationship that she had with Metropolitan AME Church of which she was a member for several years. Over the years, Dr. Baker developed and maintained strong relationships with many of her fellow church members.

Education was very important to Dr. Baker and as a role model for many, she wanted others to have the opportunity to have the best possible life through higher education, just as she had. All who were close to her would be impacted by her thoughts on the importance of education. To help others obtain their life goals through education, she often provided financial resources and her own expert knowledge. Dr. Baker was a life-long learner and did not believe that retirement would end her love for learning. She stayed informed of current events through reading and viewing local and world news and maintained daily conversations with those who were close to her.

Dr. Baker received a bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University-Orangeburg, a master’s degree from City College of New York, a master’s degree from Howard University, and a doctoral degree from George Washington University. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1972-2020. Dr. Baker’s professional appointments include New York City Public Schools (Health Education, ‘70-75); Voorhees College (Assistant Professor-Health Education and women’s basketball coach, ’75-78); University of South Carolina-Columbia (Research Fellow, 78-80); Allen University, (Assistant Professor, Education, ’81-82); Walterboro County Public Schools (Instructor, Science ’80-81); District of Columbia Department of Corrections (Instructor, ’84-85); Trinity College-DC (Assistant Professor, Health Education, ‘92-93); Howard University, (Assistant (Professor, Health Ed. ’85-93, Retired); District of Columbia Public Schools, (Diaspora, Science coordinator ‘94-95); District of Columbia Public schools, (Instructor, Science ’97-98); Prince Georges County Public Schools (Instructor, Science/Health Ed).

While attending George Washington University, Dr. Baker published her dissertation, A Study of Black Faculty Perceptions of Tenure Processes in Major White Universities, 1991. In 1994, she published her first book, Women’s Health: What Do You Know About It, McGraw Hill. Most recently, Dr. Baker had devoted much of her time to studying and collecting data surrounding the history of her great uncle, Frazier Baker, who would be memorialized through the renaming of a Lake City, South Carolina post office due in part to her efforts. Dr. Baker worked tirelessly to ensure that his legacy would not be lost. The outcome of these efforts includes exhibits in both the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and the National Museum for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Baker was interviewed and featured as a cast member in An Outrage: A Documentary Film About Lynching in the American South, 2017. She is also the author of her second book, A Black Postmaster in a White Town, which will soon be released.

Those closest to her knew Dr. Baker to be somewhat tough on the exterior, but also knew her to be filled with the sweetest, softest heart. She loved everyone, especially her younger siblings, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her family was her joy and she took great pride and pleasure sharing in the accomplishments and successes in their lives. Dr. Baker is survived by her daughter, Tonya Gadson; seven grandchildren, Tina McMillan, Phillip McMillan, Shanel Vinson, Gena McMillan, Lena McMillan, Jamie Gadson, and Bridgette Gadson; three great-grandchildren, Christian, Omarri, and Zoe; eleven brothers and sisters, Barbara (Melvin) Gibbs, Maryland (Linda) Baker, Claretha Johnson, Revella Baker, Belva (Edmond) Davis, Vangie (Roy) McCray, Elliott (Janice) Baker, Wandell (Henry) Burch, Alton (Veronica) Baker, Floyd Baker, Sophia Baker; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Omega Omega Service will be 6 PM Friday, February 7,2020 at J.O. & Anette Smith Memorial Chapel, 307 S. Johns St., Florence with family visitation following the services.

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Guestbook

To the Family of Dr. Fostenia Baker, I send my deepest condolences. I apologize for my late reply. After trying to contact Dr. Baker for months, I just found out that she had passed. She was my friend and mentor who impacted my life tremendously. She contacted me in 2013, after I was not able to attend the unveiling ceremony in SC for the historical marker of the lynching of her Uncle Frazier and his daughter Julia. Ever since then, we talked about all the things we had in common, especially her book she was writing on her Uncle Frazier, our family, our faith, and our love for history and social justice. I'm so glad that her book will be published soon. I know she worked tirelessly to complete it. The book was a labor of love that she wanted to see it through, in spite of the pain and heartache she felt for what she knew that Uncle Frazier and the family endured. Dr. Baker was very kind to me and knowing her only enhanced my life for the better. I will miss her and she will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her. May God continue to bless and comfort you all! Love, Trichita Chestnut (Maryland)

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

To the family of Dr. Fostenia Baker - I knew Dr. Baker for quite a few years and assisted her in the process of putting her book together regarding her Uncle Frazier Baker. We also worked together at Nicholas Orem Middle school for at least 6 years. She was a true friend to me. I am sorry I was not able to attend her service since it was so far away from where I live. Please accept my sympathy for her passing. Your family will be in my prayers. God bless you all. Michele Maiden, Greenbelt, Md.

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thinking of you in this difficult time. We are praying with you and for you. May God continue giving you comfort and strength. (sisters, Ms. Audrey Davis & Dr. Lurma Swinney)

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thinking of you in this difficult time. We are praying with you and for you. May God continue giving you comfort and strength. (sisters, Ms. Audrey Davis & Dr. Lurma Swinney)

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Greetings Dr. Bakers family, You are in my prayers. Im so glad that I had a chance through God to meet Dr. Baker. She and I used to talk on the phone about her book, the Memorial Marker and of course the renaming of the Lake City Post Office. Our conversation was not just business but we would talk about family and most of all God. The last time we communicate was by email on January 4&5. Going to miss her. Love Paula Morris

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

To Wanda - 94NG56Dr. Baker - one of the sweetest "stranger's" I've every meet. I meet her in early 2000 at Florence, S.C. airport. We talked briefly, exchanged phone numbers and from that day always kept in touch. If she were planning a trip to the area she would call, we met for lunch or just to talk (a lot about her writing, her daughter's and grands). Many times we just talked on the phone for hours about whatever; and appreciated one another for listening and being there. I will miss her very much; and know she is resting in His arms. I feel that "Mother" the Angels and God is rejoicing to have this beautiful flower with them. My love and prayer goes out to the entire Baker family. From Greenville, S.C Merlene Singletary-Crowe

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Greetings to Dr. F. Baker Family, May the peace of our lord be with you through it all. Dr. N.C.Cooley

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Greetings to Dr. F. Baker Family, May the peace of our lord be with you through it all. Dr. N.C.Cooley

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Dr, Baker will be missed, always enjoyed our conversations and emails. Mark Ellis, Charlotte, N.C.

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I will always treasure my many fond memories of Dr. Fostenia W. Baker (Tina). She was a wonderful friend whose laughter, intelligence, and love of life will be remembered forever. God Bless her family and friends and may you be comforted by her legacy in the days and years ahead. With love, Dr. Gwendolyn Scotton Bethea and family.

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

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