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Arthur A. Baxter

10/11/2019

Arthur Baxter of Warwick, NY, formerly of Ringwood and Wayne, NJ, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family and dear friends on October 11, 2019. He was 87 years old. 


Born in New York City on September 10, 1932, he was one of four children of the late Arthur Anthony and Helen Rose Baxter.  Arthur’s family moved to Miami, Florida shortly after he was born, and he spent much of his childhood exploring, hunting and fishing in the Everglades and nearby waters with his friends and fellow “swamp boys”.  


After graduating from the University of Miami in 1954 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Arthur served in the United States Air Force conducting wind tunnel research at Langley Field.  Following his service, he joined Kearfott Corporation in Woodland Park, NJ and spent over 40 years there working as an aerospace engineer in the research, design and development of inertial navigation equipment.  Arthur also earned a Masters of Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Arthur enjoyed and found great satisfaction in his work, which focused primarily on missiles and space vehicles, and he earned multiple awards from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for his contributions to various space programs.  Arthur’s advanced navigation and guidance equipment contributed significantly to the success of many U.S. space programs, including Surveyor, Apollo, Voyager 1 and the Hubble Telescope. During a dinner in 1972, Jim Lovell, commander of the Apollo 13 mission, thanked Arthur for “saving his life”.  Towards the end of his career, he worked as a consultant on various projects, including the development and delivery of specialized laser research equipment used in the International Space Station by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.


Arthur’s love of the outdoors began as a child in the swamps of Miami and continued throughout his lifetime.  He was passionate about skiing, sailing, hiking and mountain biking, and he pursued these activities enthusiastically, always alongside his family or his dearest friends.  Arthur taught himself and all of his daughters how to ski at Mad River Glen in Waitsfield, VT; his devotion to the mountain was reflected in the old “Single Chair” swinging in his backyard (and his ever expanding collection of Mad River Glen apparel and “Ski It If You Can” stickers…).  


In 2008, Arthur traveled to Africa to safari and climb Mt. Kiliminjaro, reaching the summit on his 76th birthday!  Because of his exceptional strength and age, the sherpas affectionately referred to him as “Babu” (meaning “grandfather” in Swahili).


Throughout Arthur’s professional and personal adventures, his family was always first in his thoughts.   He felt very blessed by his parents and the values he learned from them. And he often said that the most enjoyable and rewarding moments of his adult life were those spent skiing, sailing or hiking with any of his daughters.  


Soon after returning from Africa, Arthur met and fell in love with Andrea Volter.  He adored Andrea and treasured the life and home they created together in Warwick. 


Arthur is survived by his devoted wife, Andrea Volter; five loving daughters: Bonnie Mano of Haskell, NJ, Denise Kane of Butler, NJ, Michele Forsythe of Rockville, MD, Jessie Baxter of New York, NY, and Meghan Baxley of Hoboken, NJ; five adoring grandchildren: Sean and Emily Kane, Erin-Lara, Naomi and Kailyn Forsythe; and loving brother, Kenneth Christopher Baxter of Highlands, NC. He was predeceased by a sister Arlene Baxter and brother Walter Baxter.


Visitation will be on Tuesday, October 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY.  A funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 16 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen RC Church, 75 Sanfordville Road, Warwick. Interment in Warwick Cemetery will be on Saturday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m.


The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia University and Arthur’s caregivers at Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, Griswold Home Care and Hand in Hand Care for their devoted care and compassion.


 


 

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We had great times skiing with Art while members of the Pas-Clif Ski Club. Sorry to learn of his passing. Our condolences to the family.
George (Gus) - Rosemary Halas
10/15/2019
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