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John Baxter


John Baxter, 90, of Brainerd, died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, at Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Brenny Funeral Chapel in Baxter with Pastor Dianne Ciesluk officiating. Family and friends are welcome to gather one hour prior to services. Interment will be at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.


John was born Oct. 27, 1922, in Stacy, Minn., the 11th child of George and Ada (Showalter) Baxter. He attended elementary school in Stacy, and then graduated from Forest Lake High School in Forest Lake, Minn., in 1940. He attended the University of Minnesota before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1942. After further schooling, he was commissioned as an Ensign in 1944. John served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII on an LCI and was released from active duty in 1946. He returned to the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in business administration in 1947.

John married Margaret (Rekitzke), his wife of 65 years, on Aug. 22, 1947, in St. Paul, Minn. Shortly thereafter, he began a 33-year career with the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). He took great pride and pleasure in helping bring electricity and telephone services to the rural areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

After numerous moves, John and Margaret settled in Brainerd in 1957, and eventually built a home on Whitefish Lake in 1975. John enjoyed living on the lake, watching loons, and the changing of the seasons.

Over the years, John has enjoyed hunting and fishing, camping and canoeing, square dancing and bowling.

John is survived by his wife, Margaret; son, Mark (Laurel), of Motley; daughter, Diane (Jim) Sargent, of Brookfield, Wis.; and granddaughters, Betsy (Robert) Engle, of St. Louis, Mo. and Katie (Zach) Sattler, of Milwaukee, Wis.

Brenny Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services