The Town of Clayton Operations Center has sponsored a Flags for Heroes flag in honor of the late Donnie Sherrill Baker, who passed away from complications due to COVID-19 in 2021.
Baker worked for the Town of Clayton as a Street Maintenance Crew Leader. He served the Town of Clayton for 13 years as a Streets, Public Works, and Water & Sewer professional.
Baker’s legacy lives on through his coworker’s memories and through his concrete and brick craftsmanship that can be seen throughout Downtown Clayton.
The brickwork that surrounds the front door of Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library can be attributed to Baker’s skills. This same brick pattern was used by Batista Grading to craft the Donnie Baker Memorial at the Operations Center, which was dedicated to Baker on September 21, 2022.
According to his coworkers, Donnie had a contagious smile and laughter that brightened up everyone's day. He cherished his family and colleagues and was passionate about riding his motorcycle. Donnie was always in the holiday spirit and loved to shower his peers with small gift bags during Christmas. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, from town residents to his coworkers. Donnie was an exceptional brick mason, who worked diligently and had a knack for making work enjoyable. He was a practical joker, but at the same time, he was respectful and always tried to lift the spirits of his colleagues. Donnie had a story for every situation and could do just about anything. If there was a problem, he could figure out a way to make it work. He was a beloved member of the community and is deeply missed.
In recognition of the lasting contribution Baker made to the Town and his colleagues, a flag has been placed on display at the Clayton Field of Honor.
Johnston County Flags for Heroes is an initiative of Johnston County’s three Rotary Clubs, Clayton Rotary Club, Cleveland School Rotary Club, and the Rotary Club of Central Johnston County. Flags for Heroes honors veterans, current military, first responders, frontline healthcare workers, family, friends, and strangers who have been an inspiration to the community with a spectacular display of more than 1,500 American flags between the Johnston Health fields in Clayton and Smithfield.
Donnie Baker’s flag can be found in the Clayton Johnston Health field. A printed list is available at the Field of Honor to tell visitors where Baker’s flag is located. The Field of Honor flag display will be open to the public until June 18, 2023.
Flags for Heroes sponsorships afford the three Rotary Clubs in Johnston County the ability to provide community programs, donations to worthy causes, and scholarships to local high school seniors, among other projects.