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Ralph Arthur Baxter

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Ralph Arthur Baxter Obituary
December 23, 1924 - July 7, 2011

In loving memory of Ralph Arthur Baxter who went home to be with the Lord. Son of John Harry Baghdasarian and Olive Virginia. Born in Adrian, Michigan and raised in Altadena, California. He enlisted in the Navy in August of 1943 and became a naval aviator. Married Marjorie Jane Van Horn on June 1, 1945. They had their first son, Arthur in 1949 and he joined the naval reserve that same year. He would retire from the reserve as a lieutenant commander in 1966. In 1950 he hired on at Western Airlines as a flight navigator. He would go on to become a captain and retired in 1986 after 35 years. In 1952 they had their second son, John and moved to Torrance, California where they lived for 17 years. In 1956 they gave birth to their daughter, Eileen. In 1969 Ralph moved the family to Rolling Hills Estates where he continued to live until his passing. He was preceded in death by Marjorie, his loving wife of 60 years and his brother, Norman Baxter of Hawaii. A man who worked with his hands, Ralph bought his first project car at the age of 12 and had it running by the time he was 16 years old. During his naval career he fell in love with flying and would continue flying his 1939 Waco biplane past his 82nd birthday. He also built a 26' sailboat and restored numerous old cars while raising his family and taking them on vacations like Jamaica, Washington D.C., Alaska, Hawaii and Yellowstone National Park. In his retirement years he purchased two airplanes. A 40s era Stinson Reliant and a 1939 Waco biplane. He would fly to Fallbrook, CA where he owned a 10 acre avocado grove. He eventually sold the grove. He survived a mid-air collision, crash landing with the Waco in 2007 and was close to finishing the re-building of the Waco when he passed. He and Margie were active members of Rolling Hills Covenant Church. They donated the cross in the main sanctuary of the church and their time through the tape and counting room ministries. Ralph was a participant in the "Pageant of Our Lord" for over 15 years. Dad was blessed with a wonderful wife and family and dubbed himself the "luckiest guy in the world". He touched many lives with his kind and outgoing nature. He is survived by his sons, Art and wife, Jud, John and wife, Pam; daughter, Eileen and her husband, Terry Stokes; grandchildren, Seth (Sandy), Luke (Sandy), Noah (Marian), Natalie (Steve), Colin (Julia); and great-grandchildren, Cassandra, Jacob, Ace, Gage and Elizabeth. Memorial service to be held on Wednesday, July 20, 12:00 p.m., at Rolling Hills Covenant Church North Chapel. Address: 2223 Palos Verdes Drive North, Rolling Hills Estates. Please sign guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on July 19, 2011
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