Sister Bernice (Smith) Baker was born May 18, 1936 in Clayton (Barbour County), Alabama to the late Barney and Fronnie (McClain) Smith. Sister Bernice departed this life on the 26th of May, 2017.
Sister Bernice was united in Holy Matrimony to H. C. Baker (born September 10, 1935 also of Barbour County, Alabama). This union shared the love of two sons: Charles (Cathy) Baker and Anthony (Janell) Baker and two daughters Gloria (Rev Darryl) Williams and Angelia Baker.
Sister Baker joined Shady Grove Baptist Church of Clayton as a young child. Upon moving to Ozark, Sister Bernice became a member of Greater Sardis Missionary Baptist Church. She was faithful to God and devoted to her family.
Sister Bernice also worked caring for the homes and children of many of Dale County’s families. In addition to giving birth to her own children, Sister Bernice Baker helped raised many of the children in her community as a mother-figure as well as an entrepreneur of Baker’s Day Care Center from the early 1970’s to the early turn of the century.
Bernice also served on the GSMBC Usher Board, the traveling Ushers, as well as traveled and sang with her father as a shape note singer until his illness. Lane Cakes, pecan pies, Pound cakes, and sweet potato pies attracted family and friends to her home during most holidays. Her Homemade ice cream and fruit preserves delighted many in Greater Sardis including Dr. W. C. Autrey and Sister Hattie Manning.
Aside from her parents, Sister Bernice was preceded in death by one brother, Joseph Smith.
Along with her sons and daughters, she leaves, to cherish her memories….. Sisters: Rena Mae Gatlin, Annie Pearl Denard, Jessie Pearl Baker, Murlene Eutsey, Mae Olivia Smith and Melissa Diane Smith; one brother Andrew Lee Smith; grandchildren: Kevin D. Baker, Darryl C. (Connie) Williams, 2nd, Mychal D. Baker, Rachel B. (Will) Marshall, Brittany J. Baker; Daevid M. Williams, Charles M. Baker, Ryan J. Baker, Latonya L. Wilson, and William J. Wilson; six (6) great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends to include her best friend, Sister Nellie Trailer.
Along with the immediate family, the support group includes other relatives, and friends as well as The Almighty.