Truckee says farewell to active long-time resident
Husband, father, coach, teacher, friend and active community member – Doug Baxter did it all in his 79 years.
After a brief illness, Baxter died on Sept. 7 in his home in Yuma, Ariz.
One of the first “telephone men” for Pacific Bell in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee area, Baxter was always on call, ready to work at a moment’s notice.
“When people wanted their phone fixed, they simply called our house,” said Betty Baxter, Doug’s wife of 53 years.
One of Doug’s five children remembers his father’s dedication to his job as well.
“My dad would go fix phones on the weekend and at night,” said Jim Baxter.
In 1948, Doug and Betty moved to Truckee after they got married, and Doug began his 35 year career with Pacific Bell.
They moved away a couple of years later, but returned to the area in 1952 when they bought a house for $16,500 in Kings Beach on the third hole of the Old Brockway Golf Course.
Besides Doug’s dedication to his family and job, his family and friends remember Doug as a person who was constantly involved in the community.
“Back then you kind of did it all. You were a family man and a community man,” Jim said.
He helped start the Cub Scouts troop in King’s Beach, he coached Little League baseball for years, was on the school board and served as grand master of the Truckee Masonic Lodge.
“Well, he was very sports minded,” Betty said. “He believed in helping boys and keeping them out of trouble and mischief.”
David Ferrari, owner of the Crown Motel in Kings Beach, played for one of Doug’s Little League teams when he was 13 years old and remembers Doug as a very motivating coach.
“He was really dedicated to his family and kids and the kids in the community,” Ferrari said. “He made life very interesting and really fun.”
Doug worked on the communications crew for the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley, and Jim remembers sitting on his father’s lap watching one of the hockey games.
One of Jim’s favorite memories of his father is when Doug would collect firewood and haul it home on a sled. The family’s dog Jigger would sit on top of the wood and enjoy the ride.
“Everybody knew it was Doug Baxter coming down the hill,” Jim said.
“He was a man’s man,” Jim said. “He taught me a lot about life. He was the most unselfish man I’ve ever known in my life.”
Baxter is survived by his wife Betty; sons Jim Baxter and Doug Baxter; and daughters Carla Olsen and Francie Stanley.
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