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Larkin Mortuary

Donald Weir Baxter

12/14/1928 - 01/18/2020

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Semper Fidelis

Donald Weir Baxter, age 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 18, 2020 of causes related to age.  Born December 14, 1928, in Salt Lake City, Utah to John “Scotty” and Mildred Baxter, he lived in Park City until joining the United States Marine Corps.

He married Rae Onda Sorenson in 1951.  Living in Rose Park for 62 years, they raised four children, John (Alexa), Jane, Mary, and Bruce (JP).

Always faithful, never pious, he was raised a Methodist and remained so until meeting our Mom, a nice LDS girl.  After that he was a converted Methodist.  Don and Rae served as missionaries in Northern Scotland and the Shetland Islands.  Later he served as a Temple Worker, a Bishop, a Branch President and a Stake Patriarch.

Fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage, Don was a long time member of the Salt Lake Scots Bagpipe Band and served as treasurer and later president of the Utah Scottish Association.  He played his bagpipes anytime and anyplace regardless of the circumstances.  He would be delighted if you wore your kilt to his service.

He was also proud of his military service, following in the footsteps of his father who served in the Great War and paving the way for three of his children and two of his grandchildren who also served.  A hardworking child of the depression, he taught school in Manila, Utah, and Salt Lake City.  He was the principal at several Salt Lake City elementary schools.  As the pied piper outfitted in full Highland garb, he led the annual Halloween parades around the school yards while the kids trailed him in their costumes.  He truly cared for his students and touched many young lives.

He joins his wife, his parents, his in-laws and his brother Keith.  He leaves behind his children, their spouses, 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

He loved his children, history, travel, good food and especially his Rae Onda.  Although dementia slowly erased the details of life from his memory, it didn’t impact his fundamental kindness.  He was just a very nice man.  Although he could no longer verbalize his thoughts, he could give a tender touch on a shoulder or hand and that will be missed.

A viewing will take place at 9:30 on Friday, January 24 at the Rose Park North Stake Center (North Chapel), 1155 North 1200 West, SLC, UT, followed by services at 11:00 with interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.  Thanks to the wonderful staff of Legacy House Memory Care Unit of Taylorsville and Inspiration Hospice Care for their loving care of our dad.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the dementia research organization of your choice.

Recent Condolences

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  • 1/23/2020

    I was lucky to spend my entire elementary career with Mr. Baxter. He was always ready with a joke, friendly remark or a gentle smile. Some of my most cherished memories, that I share with my children every year, are following him while playing the bagpipes for the annual Halloween parade. Or sitting inside on days to cold or rainy to go for recess and play trivia for erasers and other goodies. He was warm and caring for each and every one of us. His example of love and caring has continued to influence my life to this day.
    He truly is a disciple of Christ.
    I admit that I am shedding a tear, but not out of sadness, but that I had the opportunity to have him as an influence in my life. I certainly miss him and look forward to meeting again, and following him while he plays his bagpipes.

    Dr. R. Bryan Harding MD

    — R Bryan Harding
  • How we wish we could be there, but we are currently serving a mission in Upstate NY. I’ll play Flowers of the Forrest for you Don. Loved serving on the USA board with you. Loved just hearing you talk of your time in the Salt Lake Scots and Shetland Islands. Happy Eternal reunion!

    — Larry & Chris McDonald
  • I am sorry for the pain of loss for the family. Even though I did not know him personally I wanted to reach out to the family and say I am grateful for his service for the country and I am sure that there are a great many that are grateful for his service to the school districts, church members, the Scottish Association and to many that were within the sound of the bagpipes (which are heavenly to me too) Heavenly Father gained a wonderful son back home. The promise of Eternal families can be a great blessing and a wonderful comfort to all.

    — Moya Sube

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