A Needy-People Person
Jasper Baxter was a needy-people person. He once made it his Saturday-morning routine to deliver meals from a food bank to hungry homes in Philadelphia, where he lived with his wife, Lillian. When he heard of a mortgage lender who was charging an old woman monthly payments that exceeded her Social Security income, he took his outrage all the way to the Pennsylvania legislature, where there was enough interest in the matter to make the company back down, said a brother, Dennis Baxter.
Jasper Baxter, 45, ran twice for state representative and lost both times. But he had a job that still allowed him to lend a helping hand. He was a consultant at Lee Hecht Harrison, a career services company at which he helped people who had lost jobs find work or start their own businesses.
On Sept. 11, he was conducting a two-day seminar on the 93rd floor of 2 World Trade Center.
"He was really good at getting people excited and motivated to get out there and find employment," said Elva Bankins, senior vice president and general manager of the company's Philadelphia office, where she said condolence cards and calls have poured in from grateful clients.
The youngest of seven children, Mr. Baxter grew up as the baby who everybody felt should be told what to do, his brother said. That meant he learned fairly early in life how to stand his ground, his brother said. "We all offered him advice," he said. "He learned how to defend his position."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 14, 2001.