Victor Sheldon Baxter Sr. was born September 15, 1934 in Glassboro, New Jersey as the eldest of three children to William H. Baxter Jr. and Evelyn Mariah Rapley-Baxter. Victor Sheldon Baxter Sr. was described by peers as fearless, outspoken, a champion stone-thrower and a boxer.
Eventually, the rock throwing led him to The Bordentown School also known as Manual Training Industrial School for Colored Youth, or affectionately known as “Old Ironsides” in Burlington County, New Jersey. At Bordentown, Victor excelled and was the captain of the football team, a member of the track team, glee club and the Cadet Officer’s Core.
After graduation in May of 1953, Victor enlisted in the United States Air Force where he proudly served for 31 years, 9. Months and 4 days. True to his nature, he was met with many promotions and accolades, including the Medal of Service (to commemorate his tour in Vietnam in 1969) and his promotion to the highest enlisted ran in the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant (E9). During his time in the military, Victor was afforded the opportunity to travel the United States and abroad, residing in England, Japan and Germany. After retiring from the military, he served an additional 12 years in the Department of Defense as a Civil Servant. From 1996-2005, Victor enjoyed a career in education, where he taught underprivileged youth, who praised and respected his stern but fair teaching style.
It was no question that education was important to him and throughout his life, Victor earned an Associate of Arts from Thomas A. Edison College, a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education and a Master’s degrees in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. During his studies and his military career, Victor pledged the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He was also a Freemason, serving as the Grand Master of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington State in 1993, with his greatest achievement being the creation of the ‘Victor S Baxter Sr. Okinawa Military Lodge’. Victor was recently presented with the Purple Hat Award, to commemorate his lifetime achievements as a Freemason, notching over 60 years of service. Victor had a passion for philanthropy and charity work.
Victor Baxter was a devout Christian who loved the Lord and was extremely active in church. He served as a Deacon and Aide-de-Camp to several ministers at Allen A.M.E. Church in Tacoma, Washington as well as St. Marks A.M.E. Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia (has home church).
Victor never met a stranger and would light up any room he was in. Victor’s hobbies included reading, watching sports and movies. Victor was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Lebron James and Track & Field, and would spend countless hours bonding with his children about any of the three topics.
Victor Sheldon Baxter, Sr. was a proud family man, and served as a great example for all who knew him. He is preceded in death by his parents, his two siblings, Andrew Charles Baxter & Lydia Phyllis Baxter, and his son, Victor Sheldon Baxter, Jr. His legacy will live on through his wife of 59 years, Faith Beatrice Williams-Baxter; his children: Victor Sheldon Baxter III and Tuanunikka Monique Evelyn Baxter-Keith (son-in-law, Christopher Michael Keith); his five grandchildren: Venise Shea Baxter, Velece Shantel Baxter, Vimani Sharif Baxter, Christopher Michael Keith Jr. and Christina Katherine Beatrice Keith; his two great-grandsons: Ashton Hendrix Baxter & Haven Jayce Williams; and a whole host of extended family.
Victor will be remembered for his honesty, fairness, intellect, wisdom, hard work and levelness. If you knew him well, you are familiar with his most noteworthy saying: ‘Don’t take any wooden nickels!’. This was his life’s gospel.
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