Baker to be Honored with Dedication of Pavilion, Park Bench

By Jeremy Coumbes on July 14, 2021 at 2:21pm

A former Morgan County Circuit Clerk is being honored with a memorial dedication next week.

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Jacksonville will formally dedicate a memorial in Godfrey Park on Tuesday in memory of the late Barb Baker. Baker served in many community service roles over the years including as Morgan County Circuit Clerk from 1988 to 2002.

Incoming Sunrise Rotary President Jane Becker says, Baker who was also a Past-President of Play for All Incorporated, was the driving force for what is now Godfrey Park as it is known today.

The dedication is at the Godfrey Play for All Park and we are going to dedicate the pavilion and a park bench to one of our founding members of Sunrise Rotary, Barb Baker. She passed away, and she was just a totally dedicated public servant in so many ways.

Very quiet and just a lovely lovely lady, and she was the driving force behind the Play for All Park, and its inception. And, we just thought that it was completely fitting to dedicate the pavilion and park bench after her.”

The dedication ceremony will be held at Godfrey Park next Tuesday, July 20th at 5:00 pm. The public is invited to the dedication which Becker says will not be a long ceremony, however, it will be very heartfelt.

Outgoing Sunrise Rotary President Jay Jamison says the dedication in Memory of Baker is truly fitting. He says she really was the spearhead in making Godfrey Park a reality. Jamison who served with her on the Play for All Incorporated Board reminisced on the What’s On Your Mind program this morning about Baker’s drive to see the project happen.

“”I was on that team that went over to Danville to look at one of these things, and I was the doubting Thomas. I said “we can’t raise that kind of money” and she shot me a look, and I thought “oops, zip it up Jay””

Baker, who passed away in February of last year, also served as Jacksonville Deputy City Clerk from 1974 to 1988. After retiring as Circuit Clerk, Baker served as Jacksonville Office Manager for U.S. Representatives Ray LaHood, Aaron Schock, and then Darin LaHood.

She was also Past-President of the Pilot Club, the Morgan County Republican Women’s Club, the Illinois Association of Court Clerks, and had served as Treasurer for the City of Jacksonville Park System Board.

The Barb Baker Pavilion and Park Bench dedication will be held Tuesday at 5:00 pm, at Godfrey Park located on East Greenwood Avenue in South Jacksonville.