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Graduation redux: Class of 1987 will try it again

The congratulatory notice published in the newspaper after graduation was rained out in 1987.Patricia Hughes Harris of Sanderson and other Baker County High School graduates from the Class of 1987 missed one of the seminal moments in young adulthood.

Due to a bad storm, their graduation ceremony was cut short and they never walked across the stage at Memorial Stadium to receive their high school diplomas as friends and family cheered and congratulated them for the accomplishment.

“We lived nearby in Macclenny, so we walked to graduation,” recalled Ms. Harris, 43, who was joined by her mother and father that day. “But when it came time to walk, it started flooding. Severe flooding. We had to swim home.”

The most disappointing part, she said, was that her mother, who had been so adamant  about Ms. Harris finishing school, never got to the witness the experience. For months afterward, Ms. Harris’ mom lobbied school officials, to no avail, to reschedule the ceremony.

“Nobody cared for years that the Class of 87 never had their graduation,” she said.

Now, 25 years later, it’s happening.

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William Baker, 68 of Glen St. Mary

William “Bill” Edward Baker Jr., 68, of Glen St. Mary died March 24, 2012. He was born in Jacksonville to the late William Edward Baker Sr. and Thelma Smith Baker on December 10, 1943. He was a 1961 graduate of Paxon High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Jacksonville University in 1968.

Mr. Baker resided in Baker County since 1973 after moving from Jacksonville. He was a member of Unity Church for Creative Living in Jacksonville and of the Baker County Amateur H.A.M. Radio Operators, call sign K4gns. Bill worked for Duval County schools from 1968-1985 and then the Baker County school system from 1985-1996 retiring as assistant superintendent. At the time of his death, he was a consultant to school systems throughout Florida, mentoring administrators and faculty. Bill loved playing the guitar, hiking and gardening, and was an avid Atlanta Braves fan. 

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Lorrine Buffington, 67, of Macclenny

Lorrine Buffington, 67, of Macclenny died March 24, 2012. She was born in Jacksonville to the late Alton and Gussie Johns Crawford on December 8, 1944. She was raised in Moniac, GA and graduated from St. George High School. Lorrine was a member of Christian Fellowship Temple and loved working as part of the cooking ministry at the church. She was passionate about her family and her home. She actively supported her husband Vincent while he served in the military from 1978-1993. After his retirement they moved back to Moniac, GA and resided in her childhood home. In 2004 they moved to Macclenny.

Lorrine was constantly striving to improve her home, working on its appearance and making it comfortable for family and guests. She loved being around children, watching romantic movies, the Academy Awards, The Young and the Restless and HGTV. She also enjoyed reading romantic books and listening to gospel music. She was predeceased by daughter Shaina Dee Buffington and brother Johnny Crawford.

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‘Bud’ Davis Sr., 76, of Sanderson

Elmus “Bud” Davis Sr., 76, of Sanderson died Tuesday, March 20, 2012. He was born January 12, 1936 to the late Albert (Birdie) Davis and Pearl Raulerson Davis. He was a lifelong resident of Baker County and member of Dinkins New Congregational Methodist Church. He was a retired millwright union worker in Local #241 of Jacksonville for 41 years and member of the Masonic Lodge #122 of Sanderson for many years. He enjoyed spending time with his family, which he loved above all. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and farmer — all remaining as his legacy. He was preceded in death by 11 brothers and sisters.

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