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LaVerne Lucille Baker

LaVerne Lucille Baker LaVerne Lucille Baker, age 83 of Manhattan, Kansas, died 9/10/2017 at her residence in Manhattan, Kansas.

She was born on August 8, 1934, in Manhattan, Kansas, the 2nd child of the nine children born to Jesse' Edward and Lucille Margaret (Wilson) Baker. Her education began in the Manhattan School System with attendance at Douglas Elementary, Manhattan Jr. and Sr. High Schools. She received a bachelors and Ph.D. degree from Wichita State University and a Master of Science degree from Purdue University. All three degrees were in communicative Disorders and Sciences.

Dr. Baker worked as a speech/language pathologist at the Winfield State Training Center,
Cincinnati, Ohio Public Schools, Ravenswood City School District and the Gary County (USD 475)School District.

Her professional career included 18 years of academic teaching at Phillips University, University of Southwestern Louisiana and Xavier University in New Orleans. She was a member of several
state associations and the National Speech/Language Hearing Association and presented a
variety of professional papers while attending meetings at those professional organizations.

A love for music was one of the highlights of Bakers' life which was reflected in her teaching music in Jamaica at the Jr. and High-school level for two years. Negro Spirituals music was her main interest and she presented a number of vocal concerts of Negro Spirituals in Manhattan, Kansas. She and her pianist, Mary Caudle Kidd, gave Negro Spirituals programs in the public schools and in churches in the surrounding area.

After retiring from academic teaching Dr. Baker became director of the GEAR Up program at Kansas State University and served in this position for four years to help prepare Junction City students for post-secondary education.

During her life, Baker traveled to Jamaica, West Indies, Africa (Ghana-Egypt), Canada, and Europe (England, France, Italy, Hungary-Austria and the Czech Republic).
A prolific poetess, Baker wrote a large collection of poems which were often used in her public speeches and shared in situations for poetry readings. She enjoyed public speaking and became a Lay Speaker for the First United Methodist Church. Organizations which she participated in were the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the PILOT International club. She attended the First United Methodist Church on a regular basis.

Dr. Baker was preceded in death by her parents, Lucille and Jesse Baker, one sister: Lorena Elizabeth Brockington and two brothers: Wayne Emerson Baker and Jesse Edward Baker, Jr.

She is survived by two sisters: Ellen Mae Griffin of Los Angeles, CA; Carol Ann Wiley of Harbor City, CA; and three brothers: David Eugene Baker of Manhattan, KS; Wendell L. Baker of Colorado Springs, CO; and Ray Lynn Baker of Wylie, TX. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6-8 pm on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502-4149.

A Joyous Celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, October 6, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, with Reverend Melanie Martin officiating. Cremation is planned with inurnment to be in the Sunrise Cemetery in Manhattan.

On-line condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "send condolences" on this page.

A memorial has been established for the University of Wichita - Department of Communicative Disorders. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502-4149.

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