Obituary of Debra Jackson Baker
Debra Jackson Baker, daughter of the late Edward Jackson Sr. and Ella Mae Shaw, was born in Painesville, Ohio on June 27, 1959. She went home to be with the Lord, and her mom, on November 28, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Debbie, as she was sometimes called, was the 5th of 6 children. She grew up in St. John’s Baptist Church and later New Hope Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Vincent Miller. While at New Hope she was a member of the gospel choir, the Sunday School Ministry, and the deaconess board. Her passion for dancing for the Lord led to her to work with the youth during Christmas and Easter programs as the dance ministry leader. She also worked with the youth of the city in a city-wide play called “The Ending of Life by Human Hands.”
In high school, Debra was a majorette. She was in her element when she was on the field in her uniform. In 1976, one year early, Debra graduated from Harvey High School. From there, she received her associate degree from Los Angeles Southwest College. Trading city life for the slow life, Debra went back to Painesville where she met and married Michael Baker. From this union, they were blessed with 3 beautiful children: Latrese Michelle, Michael II (Mikey), and Deleesa (Dee Dee). Her children kept her busy. Debra enjoyed her work, but she was most proud of each of her children.
Keeping her own children well-balanced, she worked with many of the different activities that her children participated in. One of her most joyous experiences was working with youth members from New Hope where they danced in many different programs around the city, including the African American Black History Program. She was also a cheerleading coach with PBA.
Debra also dedicated her early years to the women of St. John’s Home. While there, she mentored many different women, fostering some lifelong relationships with these young women.
Debra spent over 30 years at Progressive Insurance Company. There, she worked with many people and coordinated a lot of successful social events. In 2006, her job at Progressive transferred her to Colorado Springs. She continued to excel at her job while there.
Her move to Colorado Springs led her to True Spirit Baptist Church. Debra was sure to utilize her gifts in the choir and dance ministry. As the leader of the dance ministry, she was able to dance all around the city of Colorado Springs with many friends whom she held dear to her heart. As a member of the Voices of Truth, she was also a choir director. In 2012, she received the Voices of Truth Member of the Year award. She also enjoyed singing in the combined city choir for the annual Emancipation service. As a resident of Colorado Springs, Debra enjoyed the beautiful views of Pikes Peak, but only from the bottom!
After 63 years of being a dedicated ma, granma, sister, aunt, cousin, mentor, dance team leader, choir member, and friend, she was set free from her battle with cancer and called home to be with the Lord. She leaves to cherish her memory, her beautiful children: Reggie (Heather) of Painesville, Michelle (Emerito) of Colorado Springs, Michael II of Cleveland, Deleesa of Wickliffe and Douglas II of South Carolina. Seven grandchildren: Lorenzo, Christina, Isaac, Myella, Sofia, Jeremiah, and Maya. Two grand-dogs: Yogi and Diesel. God-daughters: Acacia Brown and Millicent Gilmore. Three brothers: Edward II, Douglas, and Daniel. Two sisters: Gwendolyn and Robin. Many nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.
She is preceded in death by her father, Edward Jackson Sr., and her mother, Ella Mae Shaw.
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