Dr. Donald Allen
Donald Allen Baker 69, passed away September 20, 2013, at St. Luke's Hospital. He was born in Carbondale, Illinois to Frank Augustus Baker and Molene Jenkins Baker on November 5, 1943.
When Donald was nine years old, his family moved to Toledo, OH, where he first attended Gunckel and then Lincoln Elementary schools. In 1961, he graduated from Jesup W. Scott High School, where he distinguished
himself as a scholar and an athlete. Ultimately he earned a football scholarship to The University of Toledo and earned a Bachelor's degree in Education in 1966. In addition, he earned accolades as an athlete from 1962 to 1964 and as a coach during part of UT's 35-0 undefeated seasons in 1969. He was recognized for his achievements in 2003, when he was inducted into UT's Varsity Hall of Fame, joining his brothers, Alfred Baker and Frank Baker.
By 1972 he had been
employed at the Economic Planning Association of Greater Toledo as the Director of Youth Development for two years, and he had begun to consider a career change, wanting something more for his family and a new challenge for himself. After much deliberation he determined that he would be a physician and he enrolled at The Medical College of Ohio.
In 1976 he graduated and received his license to practice medicine, and he went on to his internship and residency programs in Orthopedic
Surgery in 1981. He then entered private practice with Dr. George Rakolta; however, by 1987, in an effort to better provide medical services to the community, he opened one of the first walk-in clinics in Toledo, The Dorr-Secor Medical Mall.
Throughout his career as a physician, Donald was a clinical instructor in the orthopedic residency programs of Riverside, Mercy, and St. Vincent's Hospitals. He also served as team doctor for The Toledo Goal Diggers, The Toledo Storm, and both Scott and Macomber High Schools. In 2001, he became Associate Professor of Orthopedic
Surgery at The University of Toledo Medical Center.
In addition to his storied career as a physician, Donald enjoyed international travel and learning about different people and their culture. He traveled all over the world to countries including Africa, China, Europe, and Mexico. He also loved football,
specifically UT football, he rarely missed a game. Later in his life, he learned to appreciate golf, in part because he was an athlete, but more so because it afforded him opportunities to spend time with his brothers.
Donald was active in a variety of professional organizations and fraternities including the National Medical
Association, American Medical Association, Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County, the Ohio Orthopedic Society, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity where he served as Sire Archon.
He also embraced his civic responsibility and worked hard to improve the lives of the people around him. He was a member of The Varsity Club at the University of Toledo, Medical Advisory Committee of the Red Cross, Mediation Committee Academy of Medicine, Board of Trustees of the University of Toledo Foundation, Board of Trustees for Maumee Valley Country Day, Life Member of the NAACP, Board of Directors for the Kitchen for the Poor, Board of Directors for Channel 30, Mayor's council on Drug Abuse, Member of the Health Commission of the City of Toledo. The African American Legacy Project recognized his commitment to the community and to excellence in 2011, when he was awarded Legend status.
On October 2, 1965 Donald married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Carolyn Sanders. He always said that "she supported me every step of the way, in every imaginable way." Together, Dr. Donald Baker and his wife, Carolyn are the parents of three sons, Donald, Jr., Aaron (Kimberly), and David. They have four grandchildren, Sasha, Jordan, Seth and Keira.
His parents, Frank Augustus Baker and Molene Jenkins Baker, preceded Donald in death. Surviving are his wife, Carolyn; brothers, Al (Beverly), Frank (Juanaita), and Raymond (Denise) Baker; sisters, Kathryn Palmer and Barbara Baker.
Friends will be received at The Dale-Riggs Funeral Home 572 Nebraska Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43604 on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity rites at 6:30 p.m. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity rites at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will follow on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at St. James, The Armory Church, 3319 Nebraska Avenue, Toledo, OH. Interment Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.
The Baker family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions to the Dr. Donald A. Baker Scholarship Fund can be made to The University of Toledo Foundation, 2801 West Bancroft Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43606.
Published in Toledo Blade on Sept. 25, 2013