Richard C. Baxter, of Cambridge, MN completed his earthly assignment when he passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home, surrounded by family on Jan. 29, 2021. He was 92 years old.
Richard was born to Victor and Hazel (Patten) Baxter on July 6, 1928, two days after a tornado hit the family farm in Princeton, MN. He worked on the family farm and attended school at the Spencer Brook Country School. In 1944 he left home to sail the Great Lakes as a coal stoker on the ore boats. He joined the Army Air Corps at age 17, where he trained as a radar technician stationed in Boca Raton, FL and Sumpter, SC. He was always proud to be a veteran.
After the military, he returned to northern Minnesota to work in the iron ore mines and met Joyce Higginbotham, whom he married on Oct. 17, 1953. They made their home in Cambridge, MN where they raised their four children. Richard always provided for his family. He drove the food truck for Cambridge State Hospital, managed the Leader Marine, owned and operated a freight route and worked for United Power Association as a diesel operator and mechanic from 1970 until his retirement in 1991.
After Richard and Joyce’s nest was empty, they welcomed foster children into their lives. Julie, Missy and Matt became a permanent part of the family.
Richard loved adventure and chose to live his life close to the guardrail. He raced stock cars and snowmobiles, including the Winnipeg 500 Snowmobile Race in 1967. He enjoyed spending time with his children and supported their years of successful canoe racing. He rode motorcycle for 67 years and attended many Sturgis Rallies. He liked to hunt and fish, including one memorable time in April 1951 when he and his baby brother Bob “did willfully, wrongfully and unlawfully take fish by means of dynamite” in Green Lake Brook (He never lived that one down).
Richard was well-known as an outgoing, kind, and compassionate man with a special place in his heart for those in need. He carried and shared copies of his poetry, songs, editorials, etc., and especially his blue card stating “Have a good day, a better tomorrow and a fantastic future. May the worse days of your future be better than the best days of your past.” At Christmas-time he could be found passing out Hershey’s kisses while ringing bells for the Salvation Army. It brought him great joy to know his kindness touched peoples’ lives.
Richard sold the family home and moved to GracePointe Crossing in April, 2018 where he made many new friends and acclimated well to his new environment.
He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce, brother Robert, one grandson and one great grandchild. He is survived by his children Rick Baxter of Jacksonville, FL, Cheryl (Dave) Rogers of Cambridge, Terry (Debby) Baxter of Garner, IA, Connie (Terry) Knutson of Circle Pines, Julie (Bill) Wagner of Lakeville, Melissa (Dave) Woosley of Hastings, Matt (Meredith) Shaw of Big Lake; 15 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; his beloved dog Trixie Joy; extended family and many friends.
Funeral service with Military Funeral Honors will be held 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, at New Hope Community Church, 33030 Vickers Street, Cambridge, MN with Pastor Bill Berg officiating. Pallbearers will be Matt Shaw, Phil Donnay, Adam Salazar, Jonathan Baxter, Daniel Baxter, Stephen Rogers, Timothy Baxter and Nathan Rogers. The service will be available for online viewing.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held in the spring. Social distancing and COVID precautions will be honored. All attendees are required to wear a mask. Unfortunately, we will not be able to have a reception following the service. Condolences at www.carlsonlillemoen.com. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.