Richard Baxter

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  • "Dear Charlotte and family. Please accept my condolences..."
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Richard Baxter
AIKEN, SC - We lost a gentle, brilliant, shy, modest, kind and humorous soul on December 18, 2014. Richard George Baxter passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, after a courageous fight with cancer. He showed strength, grace, humor, and humility throughout this battle.
Richard was born in Plainfield, NJ on June 3, 1928. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and Westport, CT. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A in Chemical Engineering, an M.S from the University of Chicago, as well as a graduate degree in Theoretical Physics with courses combined from the University of Delaware, the University of Kentucky, and the University of South Carolina.
He married the love of his life, Charlotte Phelps Raymond, on his birthday in 1950.
Richard joined the DuPont Company in September of 1951, beginning at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois and continued to work for DuPont in Aiken, Louisville, Kentucky and Wilmington, Delaware until his retirement in 1990. While in Louisville, Richard and his co-worker were given the challenge of developing a new kind of synthetic rubber without using coal in the process. They combined fuel oil and acetylene out of gas and developed the product we know as Neoprene. He held many positions at SRP. His favorite assignment, however, was in Reactor Physics, calculating the position of reactor fuel rod assemblies to make Tritium.
Richard was the quintessential Cold War Warrior, manifesting his love of country in the devotion of his considerable talents to the defense mission.
Richard's interests and hobbies were varied and extensive. He loved swimming, golf, tennis, snow skiing, and sailing, was an amateur artist and founding member of the Aiken Artist's Guild, a member of the Augusta Sailing Club and of the St. Andrews Society; coached swimming at ASA with Lee Poe, helped coach his kids in swimming at the Fermata Club with Fred Christensen, taught Sunday school, worked with the Boy Scouts, and coached baseball. He volunteered at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Planetarium, delighting school kids who asked him which star God was on (he always pointed one out), and served on the school board. He and Charlotte believed one should never stop learning and took many classes at USCA. He served a term as president of the Academy of Lifelong Learning and in 2014 received the Kaufman Award. He loved playing the clarinet and was a member of the New Horizons band. He was also a genealogist, a Master Gardner, an amateur astronomer and geologist and Masters Swimmer.
Richard demonstrated his belief in lifelong fitness his entire life as he and Charlotte worked out at the Wellness Center gym until his illness.
Aside of his many interests, Richard loved his family to the moon and back and put them first; when he had free time, he devoted it to them-family trips, picnics, gardening lessons, sports activities and composing silly jingles. Becoming a grandfather was one of his life's great joys; he delighted in amusing his grandchildren with amazing tales born in his vivid imagination.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Charlotte Raymond Baxter, Pixie Baxter of Aiken, Roger Baxter of Humble, TX, Sandy Baxter (Robert Lemmon) of Lexington, Carol Baxter Sherburne (Dave) and Sharon Baxter, both of Aiken; grandchildren Claire, Andrew, and Eric Sherburne of Aiken; siblings Robert Baxter of Westport, CT, Brooke Baxter of Sherman, CT. and Peg Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; last, but not least, his dog Maddux. He was predeceased by a sister Betty Floody.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to: Aiken Partnership
The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center
471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801
A memorial will be held in the spring when his beautiful, beloved azaleas are in full bloom.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of Aiken Regional Hospital and Anchor Rehabilitation Center for their compassionate care.
His online guest registry may be signed at
Funeral Home
Shellhouse Funeral Home, Inc. - Aiken
924 Hayne Ave.
Aiken, SC 29801
(803) 642-3456
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Dec. 19, 2014