Obituary: Shelby Dean Baxter


Shelby Dean Baxter, 89, of Batesville passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 8, 2020, due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease.

Shelby was born in Cushman, Arkansas to Remmel and Mary Wilson Baxter on Oct. 29, 1931.

After 30 years of service, he retired as County Supervisor from the Arkansas Department of Human Services and worked the first food stamp program in the United States although he never thought the program would succeed.

He was a graduate of Batesville High School class of 1949.  He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1955 during the Korean War and was stationed at Corry Field, Pensacola, FL, Patuxent River, MD, and Port Lyautey, French Morocco, which developed his love for travel and adventure.  Shelby continued to be active in his Navy VC7 composite squadron reunions after his time in the Navy.  He was a member of Central Avenue United Methodist Church and active in the Methodist Men’s and Omega Sunday school class.  He served on the Batesville Housing Authority and Batesville Community School Board of Directors.  He was a 60-year member of the Gainesboro #258 Mason Lodge and also a member of the Happy Hawg BBQ team that competed in regional barbeque cooking competitions.

Shelby is preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Rhett Baxter.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Marilyn Wyatt Baxter; one brother, Reginald “Barney” Baxter (Jamie) of North Palm Beach, FL; two sons, Robert Baxter (Carolee) of Raleigh, NC and Scott Baxter (Mary) of Cartersville, GA and one daughter, Sharon Meinhardt (Carl) of Boone, NC; four grandchildren, Stefanie Forgey (James) of Raleigh, NC, Whitney Conard (Russell) of South Bend, IN, Nick Baxter (Jasmine) of Raleigh, NC and Courtney Baxter of Rogers, AR; two great-grandchildren, Maddy Conard and Roman Forgey.

A graveside funeral service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12 beginning at 10:00 am at Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville. The service will be conducted by Pastor Paul Seay. Arrangements are by Qualls Batesville Funeral Service.

Pallbearers will be John Wyatt, Stephen Wyatt, John Baxter, Nick Baxter, Freddy Nauman, and Cliff Wright.

Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Jim Lytle, Dr. Ron Bates, and Ted Masters.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to either Caring Hands Hospice (2000 Harrison Street, Suite E, Batesville, AR 72501) or Central Avenue United Methodist Church (1205 Central Avenue, Batesville, AR 72501).

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