Fayette County

Shea Baker, longtime Lexington radio DJ, artist, dies at 44. Friends mourn.

Etch-a-Sketch master artist Shea Baker and her dog, Eoui.
Etch-a-Sketch master artist Shea Baker and her dog, Eoui. Lexington Herald-Leader

A Lexington disc jockey was remembered Tuesday for her wit and humor along with her unusual Etch A Sketch portraits.

Shea Baker, died about 2:30 a.m. Monday, according to Classic Rock 92.1. Her brother, Bill Baker, acknowledged she died from suicide.

“Shea was a loving sister and talented artist. With a soft and trusting voice, Shea shared her wit and humor with a loving radio audience,” her brother said.

Baker, whose on air name was Shea Maddox, had previously worked as a midday DJ for 92.1. Fellow DJ Max Corona indicated Monday that she was on air again prior to her death.

“I don’t know what else to say other than I want to throw every expletive at it, I want to be mad at it, I want to be taking it personally, I want to blame it on someone else, it’s kind of where my head’s at,” Corona said in a clip posted on the station’s website. “That’s where my emotional state will take me.”

“I’m angry, I’m pissed off, I just want to kick in a door and say this should never happen to anybody, no one should take their own life,” he said. “And I don’t know what else to tell you, other than don’t get proud, fight. Don’t refuse help, take it.”

According to a post on the 92.1 website, Baker was 44.

“Shea was a beloved talent and an integral part of our community for many years,” the station stated. “She will be sorely missed and her family is in our prayers.”

Baker was featured in a 2016 Herald-Leader story about her Etch A Sketch skills. She sketched portraits of University of Kentucky coaches John Calipari, Mark Stoops and Matthew Mitchell, along with entertainers or world figures such as Patrick Stewart, Johnny Carson and Queen Elizabeth.

Walter Tunis, a contributing music critic for the Herald-Leader, said he had a difficult time conveying his sadness following Baker’s death.

“Everything wound up sounding sullen and sappy — the kinds of sentiments Shea would have mashed into a ball and tossed at my big head,” Tunis said. “I’ll just say that I hope you are now at peace and somehow realize there are folks you left behind that truly cared about you.”

A friend of Baker’s, Kim Kearns Johnson, said Baker was a light to the world “with her talent, her wicked sense of humor and ability to have a good time.”

“Shea, we will miss you. Find your peace now,” Johnson added. “Find your peace now. The heartache of losing too much lately is now gone and I hope you find your parents on the other side.”

Anyone contemplating suicide is asked to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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