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Joyce Christmas Baker

September 18, 1932 - July 2, 2019

Mom, Joyce Virginia Christmas Baker, passed away at 3 AM on July 2, 2019. She was born September 18, 1932.

She had a large family and her early life was spent in the Marion area of South Carolina until she moved to Wilmington early in WW II.

She was married to Dad, Robert E. Baker, for well over 60 years before he predeceased her in 2011. The had two children they loved deeply: my brother, Robert Bradford Baker, (dod 9/2/2015) and me, Jeffrey R. Baker (Iris).

Mom attended NHHS and was a proud Wildcat. She LOVED school and graduated in 1950, after which time Dad started dividing his time between the USMC and courting this intelligent, beautiful woman.

They married and lived in Laguna Beach, CA., then a bohemian arts colony where this country girl met tattooed and long haired men (in 1951!) and expanded her outlook on life. Then on to Pa, near Dad’s folks, but Wrightsville Beach was calling too loudly for Mom to ignore and she insisted that they move “back home”.

She never went to college, due to the difficult economic realities of her early life, but was fiercely intelligent. She read 30 books per month, on average, and adored the Wilmington Public Library. As soon as her children could walk, she dragged them into the doors of the old Wilmington Light Artillery Building and into the Juvenile Section, where the love of reading was passed on to them. When her eyes failed, due to age, her very great friends, “Kipp” Register and Laura Barfield, took care of her by picking out books for her. The Library for the Blind assisted greatly. Thanks to such good friends!

She loved Jeopardy and couldn’t stand Alex Trebeck. Even with her hearing and eyes failing, she’ usually score between 23 and 26, but her record of 40 correct answers only occurred a year or two before her death. Everyone knew NOT to call Mom until after 8 PM, when the show was over and the question was always, “Did you get that final Jeopardy answer?” We knew she was failing when she would no longer get out of bed to play the game and fuss at Alex.

She loved her faith, but was smart enough and trusted her God enough to ask tough questions. Over the years, she worked with Judge John Walker (when he was part time DA) and Bill Zimmer (before there was a Reeds Jewelers). Her accounting abilities led to great jobs with Cherry, Bekhaert and Holland (when they only had one location) and Hecky Stellings, CPA, but her favorite job was with Lake Forest, Inc. where she worked for many years and made many lifetime friends.

Her immediate family is left to tell “Joyce stories”. A private ceremony will be held.

Brother: Ralph Christmas (Betty), nephews: Phil, Time, Mitch
Sisters: Donna Sue Logan Serepedes (Ralph). Nephew: Mark Logan
Sally (Pannie) Christmas: nieces: Stephanie O’Quinn Hughes (Brad) and Hillary O’Quinn Fisher.

A special niece, Lisa BraIisford (Henry) from her Husbands family brought her much joy, as did special neighbor/friends Aden Windham and Dean Weber, Pastor Arnold and Mrs. Helen Griffin, Dana and Bill Adams and many others.

Thank you to her Doctors and the nurses at NHRMC during her struggle and especially RN Steve Carriger, who patiently and lovingly explained her condition to her family when it was time to deal with what medical science can do vs. what Mom faced in the future and what he really wanted.

Mom missed being able to go to the beach in her later years, so in lieu of flowers, why don’t you go to the beach and watch the porpoises and pelicans. Then say a prayer for you and your loved ones. . .Mom will be there.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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