It has been difficult for me to finally sit down and write something for you to remember and maybe reflect upon when this time has passed…. It’s been fun most of the time and certainly not boring:
Dear Dr. Baker,
I was gratified to know you, and I'm grateful for your attention during my stay here at FMEL. I wish you good luck in your future.
Raul E. C.
M E M O R A N D U M
DATE: August 27, 1998
RE: Sorry you are retiring, hope you have fun
You, Nazar and I arrived at the FMEL just about the same time in 1982. I can still remember our first party in Kitzmiller's Holiday Pines house, which at the time, I was house-sitting while Kitz and Dorothy spent the summer (and the majority of hurricane season) in the North Carolina mountains. They wouldn't have escaped Bonnie!! I should have spent more time golfing at Holiday Pines. I could have used Kitz's season pass.
It has been a challenging and exciting 16 years. I'm happy that things worked out and that I was able to stay at the FMEL. It has been a wonderful place to work. I don't think that there is a better biting arthropod research facility in the world. I think that the best complement I can pay you is something John Edman noted during one of his many visits to the FMEL. He observed that, "the place has never looked better." You have done a great job keeping the FMEL physical plant up and running. With another director, we may have ended up looking like one of the HRS Labs.
I hope you enjoy your retirement and that you are able to keep busy and happy. I look forward to collaborating with you on the ORCA project.
Regards and Good Luck,
Hope your retirement is everything you expect it to be and much more.
Art & Jean Griesser.
Please accept my warmest congratulations upon your retirement. You have enjoyed a long and productive career of which you can justly be proud. Your many contributions as Director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory are widely appreciated. You have certainly demonstrated a lot of vision and initiative in working to develop the Center as a significant component of the urban and natural resources community in that area.
I have enjoyed working with you and I look forward to a continued relationship.
Richard L. Jones
As I'm sure you know, it is sometimes difficult to find the right words to express a thought. I can only say it will not be the same in Admin without you there. I would also like to thank you for your support through the years. And, most importantly, I wish you great fun and happiness now that you will have time to do the things you want to do.
Dr. Bakers form of mosquito control, while working as his secretary in the old building, was to have Ralph bring in 2 chickens and lay them underneath the desk to keep the mosquitoes from biting me! Best of luck on your retirement.
Congratulations on this important occasion! I wish you and your family the very best. I'm glad that you will continue to be here further strengthening the conservation efforts for this unique and special area in which we have the privilege to spend our time. Without your dedication and perseverance we would not have the diversity and beauty that we do in our surroundings. Thank you!
I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with you, and wish you all the best in your retirement. I look forward to seeing the development of ORCA!
With warmest wishes and gratitude to our visionary leader. Phil Lounibos
While I will not be at FMEL on your special day, I wanted you to know it has been a pleasure to work with you over the years. You have always taken a keen interest in sponsored program activities, in such a way, that it was natural to go that extra mile for you. I hope that you will keep in touch with your IFAS family during your retirement. "Thanks" for being a thoughtful and understanding administrator over the years.
Also, I hope that this new phase in your life is an exciting adventure, full of wonderful surprises. Take care of yourself and enjoy life!
Oliverne M. "Virni" Mattson
IFAS Sponsored Programs
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on a distinguished career at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, and wish you my very best in your future endeavors in phase and full retirement.
With best wishes,
Congratulation and best wishes.
Thanks for the 16 years of outstanding leadership. You kept everything flowing smoothly and lifted FMEL to new heights. Enjoy your phased retirement. If you should ever get the urge to return to administration, just look at the above photograph and say to yourself, "I don't have to put up with that anymore."
Dear Dr. Baker:
The years have really gone by fast and a lot of changes took place in our lives. Some good and bad. As I have told you before, the people of FMEL became my family away form home. With you being the head of the family and my boss I learned a lot from you. I watched you handle things for the benefit of the Lab, but with compassion for all people involved. From that I learned you can be assertive without being abusive.
I do thank you for the years that you put up with me and my problems. You were understanding even when you were angry with me. I didn't understand just what you had endured with me until God changed my life. You always chuckle when I say God changed my life, but it's true. He renewed my mind and made me a new person. At that point I realized that many of the things I accused you of were coming from me. You were reacting to my behavior. It is a blessing to be free of the pass and continue in peace and harmony.
Now that I am wise enough to appreciate it I have had some fruitful years with you as my boss. I've always thought of you as my friend, because only a friend could be as understanding as you were during all of my crises.
I truly hope that you are blessed to able to accomplish the things you have planned and that you and Nita enjoy your time together.
With best regards,
Your contribution of working toward the purchase of the land around the lab has been appreciated by numerous schools, organizations, etc. It makes an excellent habitat for birds, insects, etc.
There also were some good parties, impromptu covered dish luncheons and various other functions that has been appreciated by the administrative staff.
Good luck in working with the ORCA program and any other endeavours you become involved in.