Joyce Viola Baxter, 86, of Summerville, died Sept. 22 at a local care center. A service will be held later in Yakima. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.
Joyce was born on June 4, 1921, to Henry Harry and Hilda (Hall) Brown in Leicester, England. She was raised and educated in England. During World War II she enlisted in the British WAAF, serving in London with the balloon barrage troops. They deployed large zeppelin-shaped balloons during the Blitz, not allowing the German bombers to fly in low to inflict more damage.
During the war she met and married Donald McNeil Baxter of Yakima. After the war Donald returned to the United States with the other American troops. She soon followed with their son David, also by ship. The two then traveled by train from New York City until they reached Yakima.
Those who knew her say Joyce was extremely proud that she became a United States citizen and was grateful to the American troops that came to aid the British in the war effort. She enjoyed oil painting, writing poetry and reading poetry to nursing home residents. Her husband preceded her in death on Nov. 2, 1990. She moved to Summerville in 1998 to be near her family.
Survivors at the time of Joyce’s death included her children, Eileen and Greg Larkin of Summerville; David J. and Phaedra Baxter of La Grande; Donald Edward Baxter of Zillah, Wash., and Sheila and Robert Wise; brother, Michael Brown of London, England; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Hilda Joyce; a brother, Phillip; and sister-in-law, Florence I. Baxter.
Memorial contributions may be made to any charity.
La Grande Observer – Obituaries for the week ending November 10, 2007 – Published: November 10, 2007