Ruth Baxter, age 98, passed away February 22, 2020. Ruth lived an amazing life! Born in the hospital in Miles City, Ruth grew up on the family ranch near Biddle, Montana, learning the value of hard work. She earned hired hand wages, helping her father with haying. She and younger brothers Keith and Wesley attended area one room schools and churches either on foot or horseback. Her father drove her to bible school at Cadwell Springs where she made her private commitment to Christ. She often said how grateful she was to have loving parents that raised her with Christian values.
To attend high school, she boarded with two other girls in her uncle’s home, and was grateful her cousin Gladys made her feel safe in the big town of Broadus. She worked for her room and board multiple times -- to finish high school, attend Great Falls Commercial College, and, as a Senate Stenographer for the 1941 State legislature in Helena. She later found another job in Helena with a new boss named Lyle Baxter. Mom always said the rest was history … Dad was management and she was labor. Lyle and Ruth were married July 11, 1942, at First Christian Church in Helena.
During WWII, they got a rare opportunity to serve as a husband/wife team as civilian aircraft communicators in Alaska, where they made lifelong friends. Afterward, they returned to The States to start their family, living in Helena, Billings, Great Falls, and finally, Polson. Mom worked several jobs, retiring from First Federal Savings in the old hamburger stand near the bridge. As cold as that building was, she enjoyed working with Dave Sherick and LaRue Walker.
In addition to work, Mom volunteered! The short list includes Cub Scouts, PTA, Sunday School, Red Cross, and the Country Store. Mom and Dad helped build Cane Ridge West church camp in Lincoln, and the Polson Community Church. At age of 80, she began classes at Polson High School to learn how to run a computer, and manage newsletters for church and the VFW Women’s Auxiliary. She always felt responsible to live the life Jesus wanted her to live, and be an example of His love.
Lyle & Ruth finally built their retirement home for themselves, and to enjoy time with guests. Mom always liked the fact she had seating for at least ten people. Mom loved gardening, and cultivated dozens of flowers in her yard, and was a member of the South Shore Garden Club. She enjoyed looking out the window from her favorite chair at her beloved Mission Mountains, watching little brown birds flit here and there, school busses go, including her favorite driver Tami, and the seasons change. She always loved visitors coming by. Even at 98, we could come to her for advice and counsel, and if you asked her how she was doing, her standard answer was “Remarkably well!”
Before Lyle passed in 2011, Mom and Dad celebrated 69 years of marriage by being each other's 'Left and Right' with prayer, good humor, patience and love. Mom went to Jesus on February 22, 2020 in Polson. She was preceded in death by many, many family and friends, including her brothers, husband Lyle, sister-in-law Louise, son Jerry, grandkids Sam, Amanda and Ronda, and son-in-law Wynne. Survivors include children Bruce Baxter (Janice), Keith Baxter, and Jeannene Maas; seven grandkids, and seven great grands (with one on the way). Also, God’s children Carol Swan and Dick Trerise, and many nieces and nephews. Treasured friends include Caren Couch, Carmen Lane, Nancy Watson, Rose Morrow, Sandy Funke and Amelia Gipe. To the so many friends and family we haven’t named, please know we appreciate all your love, prayers, support, encouragement, food, fun, and, of course, chocolate!
Services will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to your charity of choice.