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“I will miss you very much. I will keep your family in my prayers. I know you are with God and looking down on everyone with a smile. Rest in peace. ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Donnna Coleman - West Lafayette, IN

“To Sam III , loved ones and friends of the late Bessie Baker, we send our deepest sympathy to you. May you treasure the fond memories that you shares...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: hazel smith - newark, NJ - sister

“RIP, Mrs. Baker....I remember her as our usher at Second Baptist church, so regal and stern with us in the youth choir. She even for awhile taught me...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Cheryl Williams - plano, TX

“I am very sad to hear about Aunt Bessie. She will be missed at our family gatherings. She was an amazing lady. Thanks for the memories. ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Diana Wilikins Dark - Oak Ridge, NJ

“My condolences and prayers are with my family as I am truly saddened by the passing of my auntie. When I got the news my mind couldn't wrap around...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Stella Alexander - Pittsburg, CA

“Sam and Glenda, the Wilkins family extends their heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your Mother. A mother's love is a special gift that will live...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Robin Wilkins and Wilkins Family - CA

“Sam, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this difficult time. Heaven has received another beautiful soul to greet us when our...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Kay Weber - Lafayette, IN


Bessie (Brown) Baker, of Lafayette, passed away at 8:50 a.m. Saturday, December 21, 2013 at Rosewalk Village. Born in Lauderdale County, TN, she was the daughter of the late Jefferson and Lola (Thompson) Brown. Raised in Tennessee, Bessie had made her home in Lafayette for the past 66 years. Her marriage was to David L. Baker on December 22, 1956 in Lafayette and he preceded her in death on December 9, 2007. Bessie had worked as a cook for thirty years for the Warren family and for Leeta Myers before retiring. Bessie was an entrepreneur with her baking and handmade quilts. She was a member of Second Baptist Church where she was a church usher and worked in the culinary services at the church.
Bessie is survived by her son, Samuel L. Smith (wife, Lynda) of Lafayette and her daughter, Glenda F. Baker of Chicago, IL, one sister, Mary Chambers of West Lafayette, 7 grandchildren, Tracie Smith-Kimes (husband, Cedric), Schalanda West, Amanda S. John (husband, Keith), Karmelita Smith (husband, Nate), Christi C. Pala-Smith, Bruce Smith, and Clifford Pala (wife, Josie), 10 great-grandchildren, a special niece, Tara Franceschina, a host of nieces and nephews, and a sister/friend, Joyce Clifton of Lafayette. She was preceded in death by a son, James E. Smith, three sisters, Melanie, Jennie, and Sarah, and 5 brothers, Gus, John, Isaac, Ira, and William.
Visitation 5-8 p.m. Friday, December 27, 2013, at Hippensteel Funeral Home. Visitation also one hour prior to the service 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Second Baptist Church, 2925 S. 18th Street with Pastor Ezelle Wiggins officiating and Bishop James O'Neal presiding. Burial to follow at Spring Vale Cemetery. The Repast will follow the burial at Second Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Second Baptist Church. Hippensteel Funeral Home entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at