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In Memoriam: Tim Baker, 1948 – 2015

Compiled from staff reports

 

tim baker

 

Timothy K. Baker, associate professor and director of the Delgado Theatre program and coordinator of Delgado’s Performance and Media Arts Department, died on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 at Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans surrounded by his family and friends.

 

Born in Rochester, New York, Baker graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, where he studied architecture before majoring in theatre. He went on to complete his master’s degree, graduating from the United States International University in San Diego.

 

Baker found his way to New Orleans and created the theatre program at Delgado Community College, where he served as the college’s director of theatre for more than 25 years. He directed and/or produced more than 65 plays and was a three-time Big Easy award-winning director for his productions of Hair, Dreamgirls and Urinetown. In 2010, he received the Seymour Weiss Endowed Professorship for Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest honor the college bestows upon its faculty.

 

Baker was a mentor to his students, and challenged them to be better. “I’m really going to miss Mr. Baker,” said Jaunee Young, Television Production major. “He was truly one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Without him I would have never had the courage to audition for plays and get over my fear of the stage.”

 

Colleagues, friends and family attended a memorial service Nov. 3 for Baker held in the auditorium he worked for 20 years to renovate and complete. In his eulogy for his colleague and mentor, theatre associate professor Michael Santos said,“If there’s one word that, for me, best summates the character of Tim, it’s generosity. Whether that generosity manifested in the form of opening his house for cast and crew after every show of his, or to personally escorting students home from late night rehearsals, or to even offering students pocket change during rehearsal – or as he would put it, ‘here’s thirty-five cents, now go buy a character.’”

 

The son of the late Eugene and Ruth Baker of Livonia, New York, Baker is survived by his four siblings James Baker (Sharon), Barbara Dolce, Thomas Baker (June) and Patricia Lawlor (James) and numerous nieces and nephews.

 

Donations in Tim Baker’s memory may be made to “The Delgado Theatre Club” and mailed to 615 City Park Ave., New Orleans, LA 70119.

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