Richard Bruce Baxter, age 84, of Gayville, South Dakota, died Friday, July 15, 2016, at Avera Sr. James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota.
Funeral services will be 10:30 AM on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with Pastor Nicole Anderson officiating. Burial will be in the Mission Hill Cemetery in Mission Hill, South Dakota with military honors provided by the Rudolph-Christensen American Legion Post No. 237. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral on Tuesday at the funeral home.
Pallbearers are Brady Irons, Roger Hardcastle, Rick Baxter, David Baxter, Janice Baxter, and Steve Swafford.
Richard Bruce Baxter was born August 6, 1931, in Inglewood, California, to Elmer and Jean (Mentz) Baxter. Bruce grew up in California for 12 years until moving to Toronto, Canada. He returned to California 2 years later and enlisted into the United States Navy when he was 16 years old. He served his country during the Korean War abroad the Destroyer USS Rowan as a petty officer 3rd class. While service his country he also learned the plumbing trade. He married Theresa in 1951 and together had 4 children. After the war, Bruce returned to California and became a certified plumber. He opened Corona Plumbing in Corona, California and later opened another plumbing business in Gardena, California. He trained his sons to take over the plumbing business and after 25 years in the plumbing industry, Bruce attended Real Estate School in Arizona. Bruce practiced real estate in California and Arizona for 10 years. He decided to become a building inspector, attended night school and became an Electrical, Plumbing and Combination Inspector. He moved to Las Vegas and started working for Clark County. He married Georgia Wadsworth on August 10, 1991 in Las Vegas. Bruce retired after 10 years working with Clark County and they moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 2013, they moved to Gayville, South Dakota and in 2015, Bruce became a resident of Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton where he received wonderful care.
Bruce had a passion for developing land he owned and along with building and improving houses. He enjoyed his retirement working in his yard, planting flowers, watching birds and enjoying nature. Bruce had a quick wit and great sense of humor. He enjoyed camping, riding motorcycles, and deep sea fishing off his boat the Tom Cat. He was a wonderful father who loved his children and loved hearing about what was going on with the plumbing business.
We will miss you dad. We learned a lot from you including a great work ethic and the knowledge that we could accomplish anything we set our mind to. We will especially miss your off the wall humor and the smile you would show just before that humor came out. We love you.
Survivors include his wife, Georgia Baxter of Gayville, South Dakota; four children: Janet (Roger) Hardcastle of Russellville, Kentucky; Rick (Marla) Baxter of Corona, California; David (Janice) Baxter of Riverside, California; and Lori (Ray) Betts of Corona; 14 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; three great great grandchildren; and three step-children: Brady Irons of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Gary Irons of Las Vegas, Nevada; and Rickey (Janae) Irons of Las Vegas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Phillip and Brian and sister, Bonnie.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
You'll be missed by all us that you touched our lives. You most certainly had a positive impact in my young life. I continue today work hard for goals that I want through what I saw you and your family accomplish. Some days on the property when you were chasing Eddie and me with tractor to pick up the rocks, I wasn't to happy about. I think I throw a rock your direction one time. Kids
But it was for our good, I thank you for that. I've been back to the property once to show my young sons what you, Eddie, Rick, Dave and me built. It's still beautiful. Rest in peace Grandpa Bruce
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