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Candlelight Vigil for Principal Baker

Lowndes County Middle School mourned the passing of their principal, Toriano Baker, on Tuesday night by holding a candlelight vigil in his honor. There was a massive turnout of family, friends, students, faculty, and many others whose lives had been impacted by Baker.

The vigil began with a prayer by Bishop Stanford and continued with many heartfelt emotional words from students and colleagues alike.

 “I worked under Mr. Baker at Central High School for many years. He really had a passion for his job. He really cared about the students and the school employees,” Keith Rudolph, special education teacher at Central High School, said. ” He loved Lowndes County, and you could tell through his work ethic. He was a great team leader and always kept a positive attitude. Your community impact will never be forgotten. You will forever be a champion in our eyes.”

Praise songs were sung throughout the vigil, and the echoes of the crowd could be heard singing along with arms raised. There was a sadness felt and a feeling of joy from hearing the memories spoken.

A framed picture of Baker’s championship-winning basketball team was presented to Kim Baker, Toriano’s wife, by the past members of the team. The closing words of the vigil were by Kim, who thanked everyone for their kind words and was happy to see the impact her late husband made on the community.

Toriano Baker passed on May 13, 2021. Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 20, at 10 a.m. at the chapel of Ross-Clayton Funeral Home.