Ralph Herman Baxter Sr., 101, of Clearwater, FL, died Monday, July 28, 2014, at his home.
Ralph was loved by all who knew him for his sunny disposition, friendly nature and sense of humor.
He was born October 14, 1912, in Moundsville, WV, a son of the late Herman Ross and Lillian Josephine Bohrer Baxter.
He was raised in Proctor, WV, on the family farm. He graduated from Magnolia High School, in New Martinsville, WV, where he played on the football team.
He met the love of his life, Edith Letitia Wright of Pine Grove, WV, in 1939, when he was working for the state welfare department. They were married in 1940, and were in the 70th year of their marriage when Edith passed away in 2010.
Ralph served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, stationed in San Diego and San Francisco during the war years.
After the war, Ralph and Edith moved back to West Virginia, living in Wellsburg and Weirton. They then returned to San Francisco, where Ralph went to work for the U.S. Post Office, in the San Francisco Airport Mail Facility, becoming a supervisor and remaining until his retirement in 1980. Thereafter, Ralph and Edith pursued a real estate business until they really retired and moved to Clearwater, Florida, in 1997.
Ralph had a passion for cars throughout his life, was quite a marksman as a young adult, and an avid golfer starting in his 50s. In the last few years of his life, he renewed his love for reading, consuming both fiction and nonfiction books at an amazing rate, especially for a man who was then in his late 90s; he completed his last book, John Grisham's "The Litigators," just three weeks before he passed away.
In addition to his parents, and his wife, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Russell Raymond Baxter and Jacob Robert Baxter, and one sister, Wilma Mae Baxter Van Camp.
Survivors include two sons, Ralph H. (Cheryl) Baxter Jr. of Wheeling, WV, and Stone Wright Baxter of Clearwater, FL; one brother, George Ross Baxter of Proctor, WV; one sister, Faye Eloise Evans of Fort Worth, TX; eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Family will receive friends on Monday, August 4, 2014, from 11 a.m. until time of service at 1 p.m. at the Grisell Funeral Home & Crematory 751 Third St., New Martinsville, WV, with Reverand Pam Shuman officiating.
Burial will follow in Northview Cemetery, New Martinsville.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Suncoast Hospice Foundation, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760.
Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.