With great sadness we announce the passing of John Matthew Baker Jr on 4/21/23 at the age of 51. “Jay” was born in Cleveland, Ohio but was drawn to South Carolina’s low country from an early age spending much of his life at Fripp Island and Charleston.
Jay was a devoted family man, a fierce friend, and a loyal companion who would have walked on fire for family or friend. With a sly smile and a one-of-a-kind spirit, his mischievousness and welcoming soul drew people in who he then adopted like family. Jay’s loyalty and dedication to those he loved were unmatched. He never hesitated to stand up for what he believed in. He had an innate sense of fairness and decency that guided his every action and made him a model of integrity in every endeavor. Jay had a heart of gold, valued hard work and was always the first to lend a helping hand, no matter how menial the task.
Jay had a positive and lasting impact on the sports he loved, whether rugby or hockey, an inspiration to all who played with him. He was a nuisance on the pitch or in goal, a master of the dark arts of the front row but afterwards, battered and bloody, he would be the first to buy the opposition player a beer.
Jay was a lover of arts, poetry, music and travel. He was an exceptional craftsman using his skill professionally as well as to assist others. He was a true devotee to Converse tennis shoes, and he always wore them with pride. He was a true renaissance man.
Jay will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him. Jay is survived by his wife and soulmate of 21 years, Casey White Baker, his mother, Peggy Keeffe Baker, his sisters, Elizabeth Baker (Joel VandeVusse), Dr. Megan Baker (Mark Ruppel), and Amy Baker (Lynn Mount), his nieces and nephew Olivia and Eleanor VandeVusse, Rowan and Riley Ruppel, and Ethiny, Sylas and Coraline White, his aunt Patty Smith (Peter), and his in-laws Bob and Donna White. Jay was predeceased by his father, John Baker.
A private memorial service will be held at Fripp Island. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Boston University CTE Center (Give Now | CTE Center (bu.edu)) or Friends of Sean (Donate to the Friends of Sean Foundation - Friends of Sean Foundation). Both causes that were close to Jay's heart.
Jay’s passing is a great loss to his family, friends, and community. But his memory will live on in the countless lives he touched and the positive impact he had on the world around him.