Obituary: Juanita Darline Baker

Obituary: Juanita Darline BakerJuanita Darline (Todd) Baker, of Ridgecrest, passed away on Feb. 1, 2014, in Riverside. She was 73.

A celebration of her life will be held at the First Baptist Church, 1350 S. Downs Ave., Ridgecrest, on Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. A potluck reception will follow in the church annex, and the family requests that you bring your favorite dish. A private scattering of her ashes will be in the Desert Memorial Park Rose Garden.

Darline was born Dec. 6, 1940, in Compton, Calif. As a young child, she moved to China Lake with her family. She graduated second in her class from Burroughs High School in 1958.

She married William Baker in 1959, and moved to Tampa, Fla. After her divorce, she moved back to China Lake, where she focused on raising her daughters and on holding down three jobs to support her family. She worked for the Naval Weapons Center, as a realtor for Century 21 and for the Station Theater. Her favorite job was the years she spent working for the China Lake Police Department.

Her daughters fondly recall their numerous and wonderful family vacations. She filled every Christmas with magic and wonder, always picking out the perfect gift. She was a strong, honest woman with a big heart, was a compassionate and loyal friend and was generous to the charitable agencies she held favorite in her heart. She passed on her hilarious sense of humor to her family and will be remembered for so many funny sayings.

After retiring in 1994, she enjoyed traveling to Alaska, Hawaii and England. Friends and family loved her beautiful, unique handwriting. She loved ceramics, crossword puzzles and her Doberman Pinschers. She enjoyed becoming a great-grandmother so much that she created characters she called Willie and Wanda Worm and their newborn twins. She would write wonderful letters, pretending to be the Worm family. Copies of those letters have been preserved for future generations to read and enjoy.

Darline is survived by her beloved daughters, Dana (Earl) Sorrells of Rosamond, Denise (Rodney) Preul of Ridgecrest and Darla Baker of Rosamond; grandchildren Brittney Smith (Jim Davis) of Palmdale, Ryan (Kate) Baker of Rosamond, Matthew (Vanessa) Sorrells of Lake Isabella, Adam Smith (Jennifer Roberts) of Rosamond, Randall Preul (Kayla Jarrett) of Bakersfield, Christopher (Nacole) Preul of Ridgecrest, Destiny Sorrells of Bakersfield, Samantha Harris (John Bradley) of Ridgecrest and Christian Colon (Amanda Bartel) of Tehachapi; and great-grandchildren Mikayla Davis, Alyssa Smith, Mariah Davis, Mya Mingo, Damien Preul, Nevaeh Preul, Matthew Sorrells, Johnathan Preul, Aryanna Preul, Lynex Colon, and Carmen Sorrells. She is also survived by stepmother Merry Leonard of Auburn, Wash.; stepbrothers, Jim Carnahan of Auburn, Wash., and Dan (Pat) Carnahan of Mount Lake Terrace, Wash.; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends, all of whom she cherished.

She was preceded in death by parents Clarence Rae and Juanita Leonard; brothers Richard Todd, Michael Leonard, and Gary Leonard; stepbrother and wife Rick (Kay) Carnahan; stepsister Candace Hart; and great-grandson Leo Preul.

In lieu of flowers, please follow in her footsteps and make a donation to your favorite charity. She was loved by many and will be deeply missed.

Submitted by the family of Juanita Darline Baker

Story First Published: 2014-02-19