DRACUT - John T. Baxter, age 98, a longtime resident of Dracut, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at D'Youville Senior Care in Lowell. He was the husband of the late Lucille C. (Sevigny) (Lavallee) Baxter, to whom he was married for 56 years prior to her death in 2004.
He was born in Lowell January 15, 1921, and was the son of the late John T. and Mary A. (Hession) Baxter. He was a graduate of St. Patrick Grammar School in Lowell, class of 1935 and Lowell High School, class of 1938.
Following high school, John began his life of dedication and service to his country, family, church, and community. This started with his work in the General Forestry Division of the Civilian Construction Corps in Plymouth, VT and Salisbury, MA from 1938 until 1940.
John then went on to serve in the United States Navy as an Aviation Chief Machinist's Mate during World War II with fighting squadron VF-4, the Red Rippers onboard the USS Ranger CV-4 from 1940 until his honorable discharge in 1946 as Chief Petty Officer.
Prior to his retirement in 1973, he was employed for 30 years as an Aviation Mechanic at Hanscom Air Force Base with the Maintenance Division of the 6520th Test Group.
He later went on to work for 9 years as a mechanic for BTU in Billerica.
John was a longtime parishioner of St. Francis Church in Dracut, and a member of the Dracut Senior Citizens, the VFW Post 662 in Lowell, the DAV Chapter 25, the Dracut American Legion Post 315, the Ancient Order of Hibernians Div.19, the Dracut Council on Aging, the National Association of Federal Retired Employees Chapter 360 and the USS Ranger CV-4 Reunion Group, of which he was past president for 6 years.
He enjoyed sailing, especially aboard the "Crazy Hour" on Little Island Pond, he knew how to be happy, always cheerful and appreciated a good cigar and a glass of scotch, going to the beach, traveling, and playing the piano, which he did by ear. He was proud of his Irish heritage and held dual citizenship in Ireland and the US. His greatest times were the times spent in the company of his loving family, especially his adoring grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He is survived by four children, J. Thomas Baxter and his wife Phyllis (Tobin) of Goffstown, NH, Nancy Lee (Baxter) Cutler and her husband Michael of Nashua, NH, Gary P. Baxter and his wife Michelle (Ouellette) of Franklin, MA, and Stephen K. Baxter and his significant other Laura Rivezzi of Dracut; six grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; two sisters, Mildred Levasseur of Lowell and Theresa Condon of Falmouth; and several nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS - Relatives and friends are invited to attend John's Life Celebration at the MCKENNA-OUELLETTE FUNERAL HOME, 327 Hildreth Street, Lowell on Sunday from 1:00 until 5:00 PM. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday at 10:00 AM at St. Francis Church in Dracut. Burial in St. Joseph Cemetery in Chelmsford. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St Francis Building Fund, 115 Wheeler Road, Dracut, MA 01826.