Longtime Juneau resident Fred G. Baxter died Oct. 14, 2009, at his home. He was 89.
He was born July 28, 1920, in Suffern, N.Y., one of four children to Fred and Mildred Baxter. After high school he attended the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics in Newark, N.J. Upon graduation in December, 1941, he was hired by Pan American World Airways in Seattle, Wash., transferring to Juneau in July, 1942. After a short stay in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, servicing Navy aircraft en route to the Aleutians war theater, he returned to Juneau as chief mechanic for Pan American and married Jirdes Winther, daughter of John and Ragnhild Winther, a longtime Juneau family.
From 1956 to July 1965, he was airport manager for Pan American in Juneau. In July 1965, he was reassigned to , JFK Airport in New York. In September ,1965, he was assigned airport manager for Pan American in New Zealand. In 1970, Fred retired from Pan American and returned to Juneau. After returning to Alaska, Fred served as airport manager for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough during the construction of the Ketchikan Airport, worked for Capitol Motor Supply in Juneau, Harbors Department and the state of Alaska before finally retiring for the second time in 1983.
Appreciating his home community of Juneau, he ran and was elected to the Juneau Assembly eight times, serving a total of 15 ½ years of elected service to the community of Juneau. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Service Award. He was a member of the Elks, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Shrine organizations. In addition, he served on the Hospice Board and numerous positions with Resurrection Lutheran Church and as a representative to the Synodical Board for the Lutheran Church of America and participated in two national conventions that successfully laid the foundation for the national merger of the current Lutheran Church.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jirdes Baxter; sons, Fred and wife, Janet, Ron, and Gary and wife, Kathy; daughters, Sandra Dunn and husband, Art, and Sherill Baxter, all of Juneau; son, Terry Baxter and partner, Sue Tottenham, of Nelson, New Zealand; brother, Jack Baxter and wife, Bernice, of Mahwah, N.J.; grandchildren, Scott Baxter, Carrie Graham and husband, Jason, Stacie Bentley and husband, Mike, Teri Kuzakin and husband, Shaun, and Corey Baxter and wife, Christa, all of Juneau, Catherina Simones and husband, Tyler, of Bend, Ore., Anna Christina Baxter and partner, Rufus Bates, of New York, Glenn Barlow and wife, Sonya, and Jonathan Green and wife, Megan, of Auckland, New Zealand, Tisa Becker and husband, Rob, of Juneau, and Christy Peacock and partner, Corey Thompson, of Anchorage; and six nieces and nephews and 16 great-grandchildren five of whom live in New Zealand.
A celebration of his life will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at the Chapel by the Lake, with a gathering at the Twisted Fish at 4 p.m.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to Juneau Hospice and Home Care, 419 Sixth Street, Juneau, AK 99801-1020.