Rita Ann Baker went home to be with the Lord after a long illness on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the age of 57. She was the eldest baby girl born of Albert (Will) Stafford and Shirley Franklin. She was born in Coffeyville, Kansas and moved to Highland View when she was two months old. Rita always said, she was “made in Okinawa, born in Coffeyville and raised in Highland View”, which is where she eventually met and married the love of her life, Donald Ray Baker. She was a 1981 graduate of Port St. Joe High School. She fiercely loved her family and friends and that love was returned by everyone who knew her, her gracious heart, infectious laugh and larger-than-life spirit. Rita never met a stranger.


She was preceded in death by her father, Albert (Will) Stafford, mother-in-law, Doris Christmas, and father in-law, Wilson Baker. Rita is survived by her husband of 35 years, Donald Ray; her son, Donald Ray (“Donnie”) Baker, Jr. and wife, Sara; daughter Shayla Burrows and husband William; daughter, Brianna Baker; Mother, Shirley Franklin; Sister Ronda Weeks and husband David; sister Linda Lynn; seven grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.


A memorial service will be held 12 p.m. ET Saturday, February 15, 2020 at Highland View Baptist Church, 310 Ling St., Port St. Joe, Florida. To help celebrate her life, please wear lively colors. A few of her favorites were yellow and turquoise.