Johnnie Caswell Baker, 79, fondest memories were made while catching billfish from the Gulf Stream

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Johnnie Caswell Baker died Sunday, March 26, 2017 at his home.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Estelle Flowers Baker, and children, Allison Baker Coggins, and her husband, Steve, and Johnnie Caswell “Jay” Baker Jr., and his wife, Alice; grandchildren, William Neal Coggins, Catherine Estelle Coggins, Sarah English Westbrook Coggins, Benjamin Davis Coggins, Elizabeth Flowers Baker and Carolyn Westbrook Baker; and sisters, Judie Hockman and Barbara Wright.

Born in Stantonsburg, N.C., March 25, 1938, he was the son of Johnnie Cleveland Baker and Mamie Whitley. After graduating from Charles L. Coon High School, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force.

Johnnie graduated from Atlantic Christian (Barton) College in Wilson, N.C., where he majored in math and science. Over the course of his professional career, Johnnie started many businesses: Industrial Maintenance Corporation, Environmental Chemists, The Bridge Tender Restaurant, The Bridge Tender Marina, The Crest Fitness Club and The Fish House Grill.

A lover of the outdoors, Johnnie was a true outdoorsman, whether it was hunting, fishing or spending time on his front porch. He was the proud owner of several Bertram boats as well. Many of his best memories were from his time spent in the Gulf Stream catching billfish with good friends and family.

Johnnie served as a deacon and elder at the Little Chapel on the Boardwalk. He was a former member of the Board of Trustees at Cape Fear Academy and Barton College and a member of the Board of First Citizens Bank in Wilmington. He was a master mason at St. John’s Masonic Lodge No. 1 in Wilmington.

A celebration of Johnnie’s life will be held at 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 29, at The Little Chapel on the Boardwalk, Wrightsville Beach. Reception to follow in the fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Barton College, Shriner’s Hospital or The Little Chapel on the Boardwalk.