Dinah A. Baker

Date of Passing:

January 11, 2023

Dinah A. Baker, 78, of Barrington, RI died peacefully on January 11, 2023 at the Hope Health Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence.

Dinah was the eldest daughter of Herbert and Elizabeth Baker. She is survived by her sisters Mary and Martha, and her brother Kevin, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins whom she loved. Dinah was predeceased by her brother Butch.

Dinah graduated from Barrington High School in 1962 and subsequently Emmanuel College in Boston in 1966. She pursued her Master’s degree in social work from Boston University. Dinah went on to become a director of BU’s overseas graduate program in Heidelberg, Germany. While in Europe and vacationing in Greece, Dinah suffered a life-altering brain aneurysm. She returned to the States and fully recovered, only to suffer another aneurysm 2 years later. Never one to complain, despite being dealt a difficult hand, she continued to lead a productive life, bringing absolute joy to anyone she met, while sharing her positive attitude and love of life freely. Dinah was a lover of music, art, dogs, and young children, but most of all her diverse group of loyal friends, who loved and cared for her dearly. We will miss her warm smile and uninhibited spirit.

A Celebration of her Life and her love of music will be held in late February.

Online Condolences

22 Comments

  1. When I think of Dinah, I just keep smiling and am so grateful that she was part of my life since I was a little girl. She was such a joyful soul, even with her health challenges. She had the most wonderful, contagious laugh! What I’ll remember the most though is her kindness so freely given to so many, including me and my family. I’ll miss you, Dinah! Thank you for all your love. And to Mary, Martha, Kevin – may your memories of Dinah bring you comfort.

  2. Dinah was such a friendly soul. I met her when we both lived in Wayland Square. She was always so thoughtful and encouraging. When I moved to Barrington with my son she had nothing but kind wishes. All the best to her family. peace to Dinah.

  3. Dinah will have a special place in my heart, because when I had difficulties in my life, such as family troubles, she took me to her house and treated me like her brother and as one of her family members. She helped me in all the ways— through her connections, friends, organizations and state officials. She helped me stand up on my feet and gave me the courage to walk in this life. She was deeply ethical and truly had an American spirit. She was rooted in humanity and peace. Her soul was warm and anybody could become close to her. I’m going to miss her so much, and God bless her spirit. May her family have peace and may her memory be eternal.

  4. I’m so sorry for Dinah’s recent health struggles, but so glad I got to know her. I’m a new friend, she welcomed my family in when I moved my parents into her place a couple years ago. I’m grateful that I had the chance to say goodbye to her on her last move out of there, it was a moving middle of the night moment. We bonded with our waves hello and goodbye through her window every day, we both counted on those. Now I still wave at her window out of habit, the new resident was confused for a bit but finally gave up and started waving back! I’d love to be notified when her services are scheduled.

  5. So sad to hear that Dinah had passed. She was a member of my family. I’ve know her all my life and adored her zeal for life. The smile and interesting conversations that I’ve had with her will always be cherished. The Phillips family has lost one of our own…

  6. There was no local jazz music venue that was unknown to Dinah. She knew them all and they knew her. She had her medical issues but they they didn’t daunt her spirit. She carried on, an inspiration to us all.

    You are missed. But you will be carried in our hearts and thoughts.

  7. Dinah was such a wonderful person ! An enthusiastic supporter of local musicians, and friend to all she met. Her positive attitude and friendly way lit up the room. She will be missed! 💜🙏

  8. We had such fun going to clubs many, many years ago! I miss those days. I miss YOU and your love of life! Rest in peace.

  9. How sad I was to hear of Dinah’s death! Was already looking forward to accompanying her to Greenvale some sunny Saturday this summer. She was an amazing woman— so quick to laugh and share a good story, and my gosh, could she remember song lyrics! She will be missed by so many. God bless, Dinah, and much love—

  10. Dinah! I love you. Your voice echos in my heart ” Jeanne darlin where can you be”…so deeply sorry to have missed your phone calls of late. We shared a beautiful friendship. I loved our rides through Bristol and Barrington as you narrated your early life and hometown histories. I admired your knowledge of local politics., architecture, flowers and art. The statue of John Chaffee on the peer in Colt State Park was a favorite destination. We had more fun at the local restaurants and filling stations where a good piece of fish, a jazz band and a Cosmo were on the menu! You had so many musical friends and spoke often about John Almark, George Leonard, Yvonne Monnett, David Zinno, Vinny Pagano, Shawnn and Tish Adams!
    You loved the way I sang “Lush Life’ and came to many of my little gigs smiling and cheering me on. To her family, she adored you all and was thrilled with her niece and grand niece Penny Belle. She was so happy when you all came to RI for her 70th!
    I will miss you Dinah more than I can say. Godspeed you Dinah with a song in your heart. FOREVER, Jeanne

  11. Dinah was a classmate 1962 BHS. Saw her last at the 50th reunion and we talked and reminisced for such a long time. She was a lovely lady and will be missed by many,. Condolences to her many friends and family

  12. Even as a young woman Dinah was a legend. You wanted to be her or like her. What a rich and wonderfuI life she lived. What a blessing and delight she was to those who loved her and knew of her.

  13. When Dinah took the leash for ‘Henry’ our farm dog, it was a friendship forever. She cared for our children, pets and guided us and our overseas visitors to jazz clubs, food stops and Rhode Island’s best kept secrets. Our kids grew up with Dinah’s visits, compassion and stories. She wove us into her life as often as she could for many years.

  14. So sorry to hear of Dinah’s passing. She was a beloved member of the Phillips family which started with Betty Lou and my mother-in-law Berta. Dinah always had a smile and spread joy and laughter every time I was in her company. My thoughts and prayers 🙏

  15. Dear Sweet One-of-a-Kind, Dinah
    You have given so many people wonderful Dinah-memories. We shared many at Church, Soup Kitchen and “tours” of your favorite places. Unforgettable-Etta James-is all about you. Rest in Gods peace.

  16. Dear Dinah, I will miss you! A good friend to all and a happy soul. I was lucky enough to have many conversations with you while at church, the soup kitchen and enjoying your company with my aunt. Rest in peace! To your family, my deepest condolences.

  17. In the 1950’s my family lived a few houses down from the Bakers. Dinah was only three years older than me, but my mother thought so highly of her she became my babysitter even though I was 12 and felt I didn’t need one.
    My sincere condolences to Martha, Mary and Kevin. RIP Dinah.

  18. Dinah was my aunt and boy was she one of a kind! We visited her almost every summer when I was a kid. She went to yard sales every weekend and had a room full of treasures we loved looking through. She “never met a stranger”. She would stop people on the street and comment on their clothes, hairstyle, dog, whatever struck her about them and it would really light people up because she was so sincere! And the next time she saw them they would yell “hey Dinah! How are you?” We could tell she was really loved by her community. She loved music as much as anyone I’ve known, The last time I got to dance with her was on her 75th Birthday. She’ll be missed by many, “Love a Dinah”

  19. I only knew Dinah thro what her sister Mary told me about her. Dinah sounded like a wonderful person to know and a great friend to have. Her bright spirit shines out in her photos.

  20. Dinah,Dinah,Dinah….you will be sorely missed…I owe my love of music to you and butch!! You taught me so many things….there are so many Dinah stories….I was so lucky to spend time in Greece with Dinah..she opened my eyes to a world view. I will miss our rousing phone calls trying to solve the world’s problems lol…I’ll never forget someone calling her dinahmyte and she said ” not Dinah might, to Dinah will!!

  21. I will miss my beautiful friend Dinah! I would pick her up on Wednesday nights to go out to the club for funk night! Even at Grace Barker her last residence she would come strolling out with walker in toe and we would head out to Providence for some funk music! I loved our car rides she was so interesting smart witty and just a beautiful human being! Love you!

  22. Dinah Baker was a true Friend and I am not alone in missing her dearly. I will always think of her as the Patron Saint of Musicians after a lifetime spent supporting them. Many a honkey tonk musician was grateful to Dinah for getting up and passing the hat so they could have enough gas money to get home. local legend, Dennis McCarthy (RIP) once said, “The jazz world has Dinah Washington and Dinah Shore. Here, in Rhode Island, we’ve got Dinah Baker!” Dinah will also hold a special place in my memories for all of the times she came to stand out in public in support of Peace and many other worthy causes. Dinah was the personification of joie de vivre – always joyful to be alive. I imagine her now in a Heavenly cocktail lounge dancing and listening to Basie, Goodman, Fitzgerald and all of the greats. No need to pass the hat there 😉 Condolences to all who loved her and may Dinah Baker’s name always be for a blessing.

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