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Liberty loses one of its best citizens
Sub MrBaker
Herman N. Baker outside the old Dorchester Funeral Home.
Editor, Liberty County lost a legend July 25.
There are many definitions of a legend. In this case the legend is not a story, an inscription or a monument, it is a person — Herman N. Baker. It was the finale to a grand and industrious performance called life.
Baker was a native of Midway. He received his formal education at Dorchester Academy.
In 1948, he began working with Frank V. Givens at the newly organized Dorchester Funeral Home in Midway. Givens was the mortician and manager at the funeral home, and was both a mentor and good friend to Baker, teaching him the trade.
Baker worked at the funeral home as an embalmer and later earned his funeral director’s license. His was the 91st license issued in the state of Georgia.
Givens spent his life demonstrating his love and concern for the welfare and development of the community until his quiet passing in July of 1974. Baker continued to work with Givens’ wife and daughter, Annie B. and Annette L., to continue operation of the funeral home.
The funeral home changed ownership in 1988 when Lee M. Pierce Sr. purchased it. Baker thought that was a good time, after 40 years of service, for him to retire. But he had a passion and commitment to his profession that would not allow him to leave completely. He continued to work on a part-time basis with Pierce until his health prevented him from doing so.   
In 1952, Baker decided that while work was good, he wanted a companion to share his life with, and he married the late Thelma Walthour Baker. They had 53 wonderful years together, and became parents to two daughters, Catherine and Deloris. Thelma left Baker to be with the Lord on Oct. 12, 2005.
Baker, in his semi-retired status, could be seen at various locations around the county talking, joking and laughing with whomever he met. He always had the time to talk and news to share.  
On July 30, Herman Nathaniel Baker was laid to rest. This was the final chapter in Mr. Baker’s life here. Yes, Liberty County lost one of its legends, but his legacy lives on.  

Paulette Robertson
Liberty County
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