Mourning the death of Jacqueline Odessa Baker, dedicated educator, distinguished citizen, and devoted member of her community

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Senate Resolution No. 908


MOURNING the death of Jacqueline Odessa Baker,
dedicated educator, distinguished citizen, and
devoted member of her community

WHEREAS, There are certain outstanding members of our community who,
through their selfless commitment and dedication, have served to better
the quality of life in our community and have had a measurable positive
impact on the lives of its residents; Jacqueline Odessa Baker was one
such individual; and

WHEREAS, It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that this
Legislative Body records the passing of Jacqueline Odessa Baker, noting
the significance of her purposeful life and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker of Yorktown Heights, New York, died
on Monday, June 13, 2022, at the age of 62; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker was born on August 26, 1959, in
Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, at Kings County Hospital to Norvell and
Olivia Baker; strong-willed, determined, and independent, she grew up to
become a woman of family and community with a sharp wit and an exuberant
personality; and

WHEREAS, With a keen sense of focus and passion for education,
Jacqueline Odessa Baker was a successful student; she and her sister
were part of the first cohort of students to be bussed from their
majority Black neighborhood to attend newly integrated schools in
Borough Park Brooklyn; she was a scholar from elementary school at PS
230, Montauk Junior High School, to Evander High School; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker continued her education at the
College of Mount Saint Vincent where she received a degree in Early
Childhood Education before enrolling in Hunter College to pursue a
Master's degree in Education; and

WHEREAS, This extraordinary woman began her illustrious career as a
special education teacher in the City of Manhattan; after a few years,
she landed a position in the Yonkers Public School District where she
remained a dedicated educator for 35 years; and

WHEREAS, Beyond the classroom, Jacqueline Odessa Baker was
passionate about community engagement and volunteerism; she was active
in the Yonkers Federation of Teachers, the New York State United
Teachers Civil and Human Rights Committee, and the NAACP; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, she served as a district leader for the
Yorktown Democratic Party, and as the Vice-President for the Peekskill
Chapter of the Westchester Black Women's Political Caucus; she gave
tirelessly of her time and energies to important causes, and this
advocacy only increased during her retirement; and

WHEREAS, Perhaps her greatest advocacy work was in the founding of
her non-profit, the Westchester Sickle Cell Disease Outreach, in 2019;

under her able leadership as CEO, this vital organization brings
awareness and support for sickle cell disease patients and families
living in Westchester County where they can learn from each other to
build their strength, body, and mind to live longer, healthier lives;
she was honored globally for her tireless efforts to raise sickle cell
awareness; and

WHEREAS, In her free time, Jacqueline Odessa Baker enjoyed traveling
to new places and bringing back a refrigerator magnet from each
destination; she also enjoyed visiting new restaurants and sampling new
cuisines; her love for films was infectious; affectionately known as Ms.
Pottery Barn, she loved to decorate her home, carefully selecting art
and knick-knacks that represented her taste and culture; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker was a collector of memories who
dedicated time to photography and assembling photo albums filled with
the precious memories of family and friends; she truly loved
passionately and furiously, always showing up for her family and friends
in ways both known and unknown; Jacqueline lived a full life on her own
terms; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker is survived by three sisters,
Loretta Halyard, Janet Rivers, and Nadine Baker; two sons, Norvell P.
Davis and Khalil K. Davis (Theresa S. Thames); and one beloved
grandchild, Layla N. Davis; as well as a host of nieces, nephews,
cousins, and friends; and

WHEREAS, Jacqueline Odessa Baker's infinite selflessness and
benevolence will shine on through her family's vivid and happy memories;
her insight and strength will forever serve as a beacon of love, light
and hope to the countless lives she touched; and

WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Jacqueline Odessa Baker leaves behind a legacy which will
long endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory
to all who were privileged to have known and loved such an amazing
woman; she will be deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute
of this Legislative Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Jacqueline Odessa Baker, and to express its deepest
condolences to her family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Jacqueline Odessa Baker.


  • 02 / May / 2023
  • 09 / May / 2023
  • 09 / May / 2023

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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