John H. Baker, 55, of Lake Delton, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, passed away peacefully in the presence of family and friends in a Fort Lauderdale hospital on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.
An entrepreneur from the age of 10, when he was a fishing guide in Lake Delton, John started and ran several successful businesses, starting with Raker’s Tacos and Subs, which opened ten days before John’s 21st birthday. Shortly thereafter, and not necessarily in order, came Jumpin Jack’s restaurant, Jack’s Pizza, a golf cart sales and repair shop, becoming a founding partner in a local Fort. Lauderdale bank, and culminating in, a Fort Lauderdale staple, the Historic Downtowner. In addition to all this, John was responsible for various and profitable community involvements, including a Fort Lauderdale blues festival, a jazz festival in the same town, and various community fundraisers. He also served on the Marine Advisory Board.
Through all this, John still made plenty of time for fun and family, from taking family fishing trips to Bimini, the Bahamas, to making all the other camps jealous of the food he served when taking his daughter Chloe “Honey Bunny” to the Indian Princess campouts, to generally being the light and the fun in any room or place he happened to occupy.
John spent the lion’s share of his life working hard, playing hard, and laughing harder yet. His unique laugh and prankish sense of humor drew others to him in a singular way, and those qualities were only surpassed by his unending generosity and his big heart.
John was preceded in death by his father, Barry, and his son, John Michael. He is survived by his mother, Jo Baker; daughter, Chloe Baker; his sisters, Dawn and Kelly Baker; his nieces, Jillian Campbell and Kassie Lederman (Mitch); nephew, Ryan Groy (Sara); and thousands of friends.
A celebration of John’s life will be held in the near future.