AFGE and EEOC Council 216 grieves the irreplaceable loss of union champion and family member, Sharon Denise Baker. She passed away peacefully on Nov. 16, 2022.
Sharon was the chief negotiator for the National Council of EEOC Locals, No. 216, and in this role negotiated terms on behalf of thousands of workers. Sharon was also the president of AFGE Local 3599, representing an eight-state region.
Sharon was on three CBA negotiating teams, including as deputy chief negotiator and as chief negotiator. Sharon continued until the present to serve in her union capacities as a retiree activist. She was the first recipient of the National Council’s Edward Watkins Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication and success in bettering employee working conditions.
Born on Oct. 31, 1950 in Dayton, Ohio, Sharon graduated from McKendree College in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and from Webster University in 1993 with a master's degree in management and human resources.
Her professional success in sales and marketing led her to settle down in Louisville, Kentucky where she pursued a career in human resources for the Army Corp of Engineers. This role guided Sharon to her chosen career path of committed service to the federal government. Sharon worked in the EEOC’s Louisville Area Office as a lead enforcement investigator and a mediator until retiring with 37 years of federal service.
After retiring from federal service, Sharon was appointed councilperson in 2021 to fill a vacant seat on the City Council for Shively, Kentucky. On Nov.8, 2022, the Honorable Sharon Baker was elected outright as the top vote getter in the race for Shively City Council.
Sharon was a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, incorporated, initiated in 2013 during the organization's centennial year. Always believing in active service, Sharon received high honors for her leadership of state and local social action efforts, including regional recognition for Louisville alumnae for social action committee of the year, and personal recognition as the first runner up for Delta dear of the year. Sharon was also a proud volunteer for the Louisville branch NAACP and the YMCA black achievers program as the law and government cluster leader.
Sharon was a devout Christian actively involved in St. Stephen Church ministries as a Sunday school teacher and tape ministry volunteer. Sharon’s passion for education also included her leading many union trainings and new employee orientations. A scholarship has been created in her honor through the Delta Louisville Alumnae Chapter: In Memory of Sharon D. Baker.
Sharon leaves to cherish her memory her son, Darnell Baker; daughter, Angela Wilson (Richard, Sr.); grandson, Daren Barry; sisters, Barbara Beall and Diana Ricks; and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, relatives, godchildren and wonderful friends, including her union colleagues, who will always miss and love her.