The owner of Johnny Cace’s Seafood & Steak House, a restaurant that has served Longview for more than 60 years, died Wednesday. Cace would have turned 60 in August.
Gerard Cace’s wife of 30 years, Cathy, said her husband had gone on his annual fishing trip in Louisiana. About lunchtime, she said, he suffered a heart attack.
Flowers adorned the entrance to Johnny Cace’s Seafood on Wednesday night. Longtime customers, showed up, not knowing of the day’s sad events.
It was a devastating shock to Mrs. Cace.
“Sure wasn’t expecting that phone call today,” she said. “But I’m glad he didn’t suffer long, and I know it’s God’s will. I’m just so glad he was able to go fishing one more time.”
Gerard was on his annual fishing trip he had started taking with his father when he was only 5.
“Then we had two girls (and) that quickly became dad and kids fishing trip,” Mrs. Cace said.
Gerard and his daughter, Chelsea, along with a few friends, were on their way home from that trip. They stopped in Alexandria for lunch when he had a heart attack. The family says doctors worked to revive him but in the end were unable to bring him back.
The restaurant has been in Longview for decades. But Gerard’s influence is felt in the community for more than just his famous seafood.
“One of the things that we learned from my father Johnny Cace was to leave the world better than we found it, and I truly believe that Gerard did,” Danny Cace said. Mrs. Cace added, “Everybody just liked Gerard. He was a good guy and he would do anything for you.”
And though the family closed the restaurant’s doors Wednesday night, they say they planned to reopen today because that’s the way Gerard would have wanted it.
Gerard and Cathy Cace had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in May.