Dr. Charles R. Baxter

Obituary
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Baxter, DR. CHARLES R. passed away at Zale-Lipshy Hospital in Dallas on March 10, 2005. He was such a kind and gentle man, and so loved by his family and friends. We are so grateful to the wonderful doctors, nurses and caregivers who made his last years and days more comfortable. He will be missed by all. Dr. Charles R. Baxter is survived by his dedicated wife of 49 years Jo Ann Lee Baxter of Paris, Texas; three sons; David Brian; Robert Bradley and Ronald Lee and their respective wives; Kara, Teri and Kelley and ten grandchildren; Brianna, Clinton, Charlie, Shane, Blake, Melanie, Blace, Alison, Austin, and Alise. He was a member of Fellowship Church, Grapevine, Texas. Dr. Baxter was born in Paris, Texas in 1929. He entered Paris Junior College at the age of 16. He received Phi Beta Kappa honors at the University of Texas and graduated in 1950. He received his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1954 and became a research investigator at Brook Army Hospital in 1956. After his discharge from the Army in 1958, he was accepted at the general surgery program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. In 1961 he became director of the Parkland Burn Center. Dr. Baxter was appointed professor of surgery in 1971 and became Medical Director of the Transplant Services Center in 1972. In 1977, he became the Frank H. Kidd, Jr., Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern. In 1980 he became Director of the NIH Burn Research Center. In September of 1980 the first issue of the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation was published. Its first and only editor for the next 17 years was Dr. Charles R. Baxter. During his more than 40 years at the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern, Dr. Baxter personified excellence in clinical care and clinical and basic research. Dr. Baxter received numerous honors during his long and distinguished career. He was president of the American Burn Association from 1972-1973 and President of the American Association for Surgery of Trauma from 1980 to 1981. In 1981 he was awarded the American Burn Association's Harvey Stuart Allen Distinguished Service Award for lifetime outstanding service in the field of burns. He received the Whitaker International Burns Award in Palermo, Italy in 1983 and the Curtis P. Artz Award from the American Society of Trauma in 1985. From 1980 to 1990 he was the Research Advisory Board Chairman for Shriners Hospitals. One of the proudest moments in Dr. Baxter's career was in 1973 when Sherrie White, an 8 year-old girl, was discharged from the Parkland Burn Unit after sustaining a 92% body surface area burn, and was the first patient to receive a skin allograft from the newly established tissue bank. Dr. Baxter, in conjunction with Ellen Heck, established the first tissue bank, which quickly became a source for burn units throughout the country. He retired in 1992 and entered private practice for the care of chronic wounds. Dr. Charles R. Baxter in 1993 became a Professor Emeritus of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He directed the Baxter Wound Center until 2000. In 2003 he received the Tanner-Vandeput-Boswick International Burn Prize. He innovated the use of pigskin, then human skin, on burn wounds and was the founder and director of Parkland Memorial Hospital's Burn Center. In the 1970's Parkland was one of the 2 largest burn centers in the United States. Dr. Baxter's lifetime achievements have long ranked him among the giants in the field of burns, both nationally and internationally. Charlie's most enduring qualities were his sense of humor and humble rapport with everyone. Every description of Charlie includes words like colorful, brilliant, entertaining and most of all caring. He was a legend in his chosen career as a doctor. He was known for his ability to teach medicine in colorful ways that all his peers respected. He was a pioneer in the development of the Burn Unit at Parkland Hospital. The "Parkland/Baxter Formula" for treating burn victims is world-renowned. His tireless efforts in research, training and treatment of patients will be appreciated for many generations to come. Services will be at Fellowship Church at 10:00 on Monday, March 14. Visitation at Ben Brown's Memorial Funeral Home will be held on Sunday, March 13, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Advancement of Transplant Services in care of Southwestern Medical Foundation at 5323 Harry Hines Blvd; Dallas, TX 75390-9074. Ben F. Brown's Memorial Funeral Home Inc. Family Owned & Operated Since 1963 707 N. MacArthur Blvd. Irving (972) 254-4242
Published in Dallas Morning News from Mar. 12 to Mar. 13, 2005
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