January 11, 1944 - February 4, 2022
In Loving Memory Of Lynn Carole Baker Barrett was born on January 11, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan to the union of Gretchen Richardson and Howard Baker. She was the eldest of three siblings born to this union and the only daughter. Throughout life, she was the quintessential "big sister" to Howard, Jr. and Rohn. Lynn was also a fourth generation Detroiter, for her great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents were also born in the city, a rarity for Black families living in northern cities at that time. She attended the Detroit Public Schools and graduated, with honors, from Central High School. She was voted Senior Class Secretary, January Class of '62. Although music and singing were major parts of her life, Lynn's talent was encouraged and mentored while in high school by her music teacher, Ollie McFarland, Central's vocal music teacher. Lynn was a member of the Central Troubadours, an elite group of talented high school vocalists outside of the traditional school glee club. She performed in several year end school musical productions and one of Lynn's most notable and memorable performances was her role as Carman, in Georges Bizet's classic opera, Carmen. Upon graduation from Central, Lynn received a scholarship to the Detroit Conservatory of Music, formerly on the campus of Wayne State University, where she studied classical voice and seriously considered a career in opera. In 1964, two years after high school graduation, Lynn's former school counselor, Jessie Kennedy, contacted her and offered her a chance to attend Wayne State University on a fully funded four year scholarship. Although she did not abandon music while at WSU, Lynn majored in Secondary English Education and also became affiliated with music, eventually becoming a member of the university choir and Mu Phi Epsilon, an international music sorority. Lynn was also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In the spring of 1965, Lynn met her future husband, a graduate student at the university, and in today's terminology one would say that Lynn and Carl had "chemistry" together because by the Fall of 1965, they had become a visible and recognizable campus couple. Lynn's professional career began in 1969 as an English Education teacher at the Highland Park Community High School, in Highland Park, Michigan. She taught there until 1972, when she put her career "on hold" to become a stay-at-home mom for her first born, Stacey. She remained at home for eight years during which time she welcomed her second born, Carl II, in 1974. From 1979-1981, Lynn balanced being mom, wife, and homemaker with the role of student, for she returned to school to earn her Master's degree. As a stay at home mom, Lynn became Stacey's and Carlo's (Carl II) first teacher. Because her husband was a Scholastic Books and Magazine Representative, she had access to unlimited "Weekly Readers," primary and grade school materials. The home was filled with volumes of reading, writing, math, science books, games and activities. Lynn created a library in the basement replete with shelves of books and there was even a revolving book rack. It was a kind of environment where every day was a fun day of surprise and adventure, creativity, imagination and learning. She loved taking the kids on field trips and information and content was never watered or dummied down. She was an amazing home school teacher to her two little ones until she re-entered the workforce in 1981. The second phase of Lynn's professional career began as an Adult Education Counselor in the Division of Adult Education (AEW), for Detroit Public Schools. She was soon promoted to Department Head, then later became Assistant-Principal-in Charge, at the Ruthruff Adult Educational Testing Center before holding the same position at the Franklin Adult Education Center. Lynn would eventually transfer from Adult Education and become a part of the K-12 Division. In the K-12 System, Lynn served as an Assistant Principal at Vetal Middle School then Detroit Central High School, her alma mater. She was actively involved there as an employee and worked actively and collaboratively as a Central High School Alumni Association member. Lynn was also a very active volunteer. Laughingly, the family would say that there wasn't a meeting she'd miss, a cause she wouldn't want to support, or an organization that she could resist joining. She loved to meet and plan; to be a part of something that she felt made a difference. During her employment with DPS, she seldom missed a Tuesday General Board meeting. Her role as an Adult Advisor/Advocate/ Counselor inspired her advocacy for parent participation in their children's educational lives. She made tremendous efforts to get parents involved and organized Adult Education rallies, workshops, and meetings in order to generate involvement. As an AEW Department Head, she supervised adult education learning centers at churches, recreational centers, nursing facilities, and many other locations. Her philosophy was that a better educated parent would produce a better K-12 student and ultimately would enhance the educational environment in DPS and the city itself. While advocating for parents and parent participation, she became involved in local politics and even won an election as Precinct Delegate. She understood that the best politics are the outcome of an informed and educated electorate; parents. Lynn went on to serve as a volunteer for Coleman Young for Mayor of Detroit and later did phone bank calls for the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign. She was also a staunch union member and activist/advocate, both for the Detroit Federation of Teachers Union and later as a member of OSAS, the DPS union for Administration. Lynn's vocal music talent was a gift that was uniquely hers and the family was in awe of her talent. One day while in the kitchen, her mother heard this "angelic" singing voice coming from the living room; a voice she had never heard before. When she went to seek out the source, to her delight and amazement, it was Lynn singing along with a recording of Leontyne Price. The telling of that story always brought " tears of joy" to her mother. Lynn, who was raised attending Grace Episcopal Church, sang in both the youth and adult choirs. Easter and Christmas concerts and cantatas were performances that she loved and cherished. She always had soprano solo parts in performing the Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah, while a member of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church's Cathedral Choir where she sang for more than 35 years. At age sixteen she won the talent portion and ultimately the entire contest of the Detroit Marachi Temple Pageant and was crowned "Miss Marachi." She went on to participate in the national Marachi convention parade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lynn unintentionally picked up a "side gig" singing at weddings and other social events. Due to the genre of music at which Lynn excelled, classical music, it was often a surprise to those who heard her because it was atypical for our community at that time. While at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church, Lynn directed the children's choir and it is because of this life's role and the other occasions in which Lynn performed, one might logically conclude, inspired her daughter Stacey' s love of singing and performance. Lynn's performance of "Holy Night" at the Christmas Eve Service at All Saints Episcopal Church was also noteworthy due to having to hit a "Hi C" at the conclusion which proved to be no problem for Lynn. It is with relief and comfort to paraphrase President Biden, in saying that there will come a time when memories of our loss will bring more smiles than tears. Lynn leaves to cherish and celebrate her memory: her husband Carl of 53 years; daughter Stacey; son Carl II (Stacie); granddaughter Zora; grandson Miles; brother Howard, Jr. (Jackie); brother Rohn (Yvonne); brother-in-law Fred Barrett (Robin); sisters-in-law Doris Frazier and Vicki Barrett Sanders (David); and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
In Loving Memory Of Lynn Carole Baker Barrett was born on January 11, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan to the union of Gretchen Richardson and Howard Baker. She was the eldest of three siblings born to this union and the only daughter. Throughout... View Obituary & Service Information
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