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  • "Ross - you will be missed in such a big way. You were my..."
    - Patricai Cook
  • "to the family, condolences. i have lots of fond memories of..."
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ROSS LEVER BAXTER Mueller's Tri-Cities Funeral Home Ross Lever Baxter, age 92, passed away in peace at his home in Benton City, Washington, on August 26, 2016. Ross was born in Fresno, California on July 6, 1924, to Thomas Stewart Baxter and Gladys Fern Sanders. Ross was raised by his stepfather Marion E. "Bus" Long and was brought up in Oak Ridge, Lane County, Oregon area. At the age of 16, Ross enlisted in the United States Navy on December 28, 1941. Ross served at many locations during World War II. Ross attended the Waimanalo Demolition School based in Hawaii. To meet the need for a beach reconnaissance force, selected Army and Navy personnel assembled at the Amphibious Training Base to begin Amphibious Scouts and Raiders (Joint) training. The Scouts and Raiders mission was to identify and secure the objective beach, maintain a position on the designated beach prior to a landing and guide the assault waves to the landing beach. Ross was transferred to the 1st Marines Division BD42 in which a second group of Scouts and Raiders, code-named Special Service Unit #1, was established on July 7, 1943, as a joint and combined operations force. Today's Naval Special Warfare operators can trace their origins to the Scouts and Raiders, Naval Combat Demolition Units, Office of Strategic Services Operational Swimmers, Underwater Demolition Teams, and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons of World War II. During his enlistment Ross was awarded the Bronze Star, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal, Purple Heart and the Good Conduct Medal. Ross accumulated over 39 months of Combat duty during his enlistment. Returning home from the service, Ross married June Laakso on his birthday, July 6, 1956, in Carson City, Nevada. Ross and June started a logging company in the Crescent City, California area. After severe flooding the logging company laid in ruins. Ross and June then headed north to Spokane, Washington. Ross was able to gain employment with the Northern Pacific Railroad, Transport Division. Ross later transferred to Walla Walla where he became the supervisor of the division. Ross and June bred and raised show horses on a ranch just outside of Walla Walla. Ross eventually left the Northern Pacific Railroad to start his own trucking business. Ross lost his wife June on May 31, 1983. Shortly thereafter, Ross moved his trucking company and residence to Benton City, Washington. After living and working in Benton City for a couple of years, he met Beverley Dawn Collins and they were married in Carson City, Nevada on October 17, 1989. Ross and Beverley spent twenty-seven years together operating the trucking company and enjoying life. Beverley passed away on June 12, 2016 preceding his death by 75 days. Ross was a charter member of American Legion Post #115 in Benton City, Washington where he and Beverley donated and contributed in helping Veterans throughout the community. They enjoyed the ocean beach at their beachfront home in Long Beach, Washington and fishing at Williams Lake in Spokane County. Ross enjoyed his time making Native American art; hand making arrowheads, bows knives and an authentic Chieftain Headdress. Ross' family has Native American heritage through the Choctaw, Shoshone and Cherokee Tribes. Ross is survived by his brother, Jim (Clara) Long and his children, DeeAnn (Norm) Russell, Brady (Diane) Baxter and Shelly (Eric) Jass, stepchildren Sherri (Brian) Campbell, Ed (Sheila) Collins and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The celebration of life will be held at the American Legion Post#115, Benton City, Washington on September 24, 2016 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the American Legion Post #115. The family invites you to sign their online tribute wall at
Funeral Home
Mueller's Tri-Cities Funeral Home
1401 S. Union St.
Kennewick, WA 99338
(509) 783-9532
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Published in Tri-City Herald on Sept. 18, 2016
bullet Bronze Star bullet Purple Heart bullet U.S. Navy bullet World War II