Mary K. Baxter
AGE: 94 • Martinsville
Author, Musician, Orchestra Manager, AT&T Retiree. Mary K. Baxter of Martinsville, NJ, passed away on July 16, 2013, at 94 years of age. She was born in Grand Rapids, MI.
She attended Grand Rapids Junior College, followed by the University of Michigan
, where she was member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She graduated in 1940 with a degree in education. During World War II, she was a service representative for Michigan Bell. On January 31, 1943, she married Naval Officer Lt. Robert E. Baxter, Jr., who predeceased her in 1997.
She moved with her husband and two daughters to Martinsville in 1958. She was a Girl Scout leader and president of the Women's Society of the Martinsville Methodist Church. From 1963 to 1968 she served as a teacher in the Bound Brook and Bridgewater school systems. In 1970, she joined AT&T's Treasury Department as a correspondent, later becoming an editor with the corporation's training center in Piscataway before retiring in 1987.
During her retirement years, Mary fulfilled her dream of learning to play the clarinet, joining the Somerset Valley Orchestra and also serving as its manager from 1991 to 2002. Fulfilling another dream, she authored four novels. Erasing Mrs. Loomis was published in 2002, Dearly Departed in 2003, A Distant Echo in 2005, and The Arrow Flies by Night in 2007. In addition, she had a short story published in Woman's World magazine.
During her later years, she also became an avid Yankees fan, attending many games including several during the World Series. She celebrated her 90th birthday at Yankee Stadium, where an official birthday greeting was displayed on the Jumbotron and the final surprise was the arrival of a news crew at her seat to interview her.
She traveled extensively throughout the world, even well into her later years. Her favorite trips were to the Orient, China, and Egypt, as well as a cruise along the Blue Danube.
She leaves behind her two beloved daughters, Nancy Baxter of Martinsville, NJ, and Vicki Baxter of Evergreen, CO; a granddaughter, Yvette Gustafsen, and husband Mike Spinosa of Boise, ID; a grandson, Matt Gustafsen, and wife Jena, of White Salmon, WA; and two step-granddaughters, Kimberly Benson and husband Richard of Lafayette, CO, and Kristin Cali of Tomkins Cove, NY.
A memorial service to celebrate Mary's amazing life will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, July 27, 2013, at the Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ 07069. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the
, 7 Ridgedale Ave. Suite 103 Cedar Knolls, NJ -07927.