Timothy K. Baker, associate professor and director of the Delgado Theatre program and coordinator of Delgado's Performance and Media Arts Department, passed away on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans surrounded by his family and friends. Please join in extending sympathy to family, friends, colleagues and students at this difficult time.
Born in Rochester, N.Y., Tim graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego, where he studied Architecture before majoring in Theatre. He went on to complete his master's degree, graduating from the United States International University in San Diego.
Tim moved to New York and worked as an actor and dancer in many productions in New York City. Recognizing his unique abilities, SUNY Oswego recruited him to direct several musicals for their Lakeside Dinner Theatre (Ain't Misbehavin', Mack and Mabel, Pump Boys and Dinettes) and for their Summer Lyric Theatre (West Side Story and Once upon a Mattress). Oswego colleagues described him as brilliant, innovative and highly energized. Students found him to be demanding while at the same time instilling a deep sense of commitment and confidence.
Tim found his way to New Orleans and created the Theatre program at Delgado Community College, where he served as the college's Director of Theatre. Over his 25 years at Delgado, he applied his creativity and charisma to his productions as a director and/or producer. These productions, numbered more than 65 total, were met with popular and critical acclaim. Tim made a substantial mark not only on the college, but also on the community as a driving force in theatre instruction, performance production and direction. In addition to his classroom lessons, he shared life lessons with his students. He was a three-time Big Easy award-winning director for his productions of Hair, Dreamgirls and Urinetown. In 2010, he received the Seymour Weiss Endowed Professorship for Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest honor the college bestows upon its faculty.
Tim's other awards include the Anniversary Class Alumni Award from SUNY Oswego, the Matteh Foundation Vanguard Award, recognition from the New Orleans City Council and the Mayor of New Orleans, the Delgado Dolphin and Shining Star Award. He was a sports enthusiast and loved watching the Saints.
At Delgado, Tim served as department head for both Performance and Media Arts and Music, served on the College Committee for Student Organizations and Activities, was a member of the Faculty Senate, 2004-2009, and was a founding member of the Black History Month Committee. He also wrote grants for the renovation of the Main Auditorium on Delgado's City Park Campus. The theater he worked so hard for is almost complete and is scheduled to open in April 2016.
He was the son of the late Eugene and Ruth Baker of Livonia, New York. He is survived by his four siblings James Baker (Sharon), Barbara Dolce, Thomas Baker (June) and Patricia Lawlor (James). Tim is also survived by many cherished nieces, nephews, great nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and students. He will be loved and missed by all who knew him.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service at Delgado Community College Tuesday, November 3, 2015 in the newly renovated theatre at 615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, Building 1. Doors will open at 5:00 pm and the Memorial Service will begin at 5:30 pm.
Online condolences may be offered at www.gardenofmemoriesmetairie.com. Donations may be made to "The Delgado Theatre Club" and mailed to 615 City Park Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119.