James Gudger Baker, 87, of Asheville, passed away Monday, December 13, 2010, after a period of declining health at the VA Medical Center in Asheville. A native of Asheville, he was son of the late Freeman and Maud Ola Gudger Baker. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his sweetheart and much beloved wife of 54 years, Mary Louise Whitmire Baker; brother, Henry Lamar Baker; and two sisters, Alice Lucienda B. Bagnel and Maude Anne B. Carlton. James was a graduate of Lee Edwards High School and The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. He proudly served in World War II with the 104th Division (Timberwolves), 413th Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company “A” where he received the Purple Heart and was awarded the Silver Star. He had been a member of many professional and civic organizations over the years. He retired from Jefferson-Pilot Financial Services in 2004 after 56 years in the insurance and financial planning business. His survivors include his sons, James Gudger Baker Jr. and Roland Tyler Baker and his wife, Tena Smith Baker; two grandsons, James Robert Baker and Sean Phillip Baker; brother, Freeman Ruggles Baker Jr. of Winston-Salem; sister, Myrtle Anne B. Wilkinson of Raleigh and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m., Friday, December 17, 2010, at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Rev. Carol Hubbard officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in the Clark room. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801 or to a charity of one’s choice. Mr. Baker’s family wishes to thank the entire staff of the Charles B. George VA Community Living Center in Asheville for their dedication, professionalism and compassion. Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent through the website www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com. Tags: 1948

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