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Donald Ray Baxter

Donald Ray Baxter, 79, of Atascadero, passed away peacefully Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at his home in Atascadero. Don was born to Virgil and Ruth Baxter in Los Angeles. He had two sisters, Barbara Worthan and Flora Frisby. Don attended school in Los Angeles and Paso Robles. He and his family moved to Paso Robles in 1950. He worked for his father in his ice cream shop "Baxter's Freeze," where he met his wife Sally. Don and Sally were married in 1953. They moved to Los Angeles '? he worked for North American Aviation and Sally worked for Bank of America. Then they moved to Barstow, Calif., and Don had his own vending route at Fort Irwin. Sally transferred to the Barstow Bank of America. In a couple of years, after their first son was born, they moved back to Paso Robles and then to Atascadero, where he and Sally bought the closed 19 cent hamburger stand from Jim Richardson in 1957. He fixed it up and was going to name it "Donalds" Drive In, but felt his father's name was more "catchy", so he named it "Virgil's Drive In." The Drive In was an instant success, so after a couple of years, Don encouraged his father to quit his job as manager of the Post Exchange at Fort Hauchuco, Ariz., and join him at the Drive In. They were a "son and father" relationship and were happy running "Virgil's" for 27 years. Sally and his mother, Ruthie, worked there as well as his three sons Jeff, Don Jr and Greg, along with family, friends and students from Atascadero High. Don retired after selling the "Drive In" to Mid-State Bank (now Rabobank) and did extensive traveling with Sally, who after retiring from Bank of America after 38 years worked for Carefree Travel and escorted groups on cruises. Don was honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve after eight years. He was a charter member of the Atascadero Elks Lodge and the Exalted Ruler in 1993/94 and again in 2004/05. Don will be missed by his wife, Sally; sons Jeff (Connie), Don (Lucy) and Greg; grandchildren Andrea, Zach, Sonny, Chelsi Euphrat, Don III, Mitchell, Cassandra, Nick and Yani; and great-grandchildren Lane, Cole, Ella, Ever and Bishop. He is also survived by his nieces Linda Kenyon, Bonnie Cvancara and Debbie Frisby; and nephews Bob Worthan, Eddie Worthan and Alan Frisby; and aunt, Marian Beneke. He was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and Ruth Baxter; and sisters Barbara Worthan and Flora Frisby. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Atascadero Elks Lodge, 1516 El Camino Real in Atascadero. Cremation will take place. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the , Wilshire Hospice or Atascadero Elks Lodge. Chapel of the Roses 466-1161 Atascadero


Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Jan. 19, 2014
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