Long time racing enthusiast, David Loren Baxter took the checkered flag for the last time on March 10, 2016 at the age of 81. He had a never ending passion for cars since his 'wild youth' in Aromas, California. He was born in Medford, Oregon to Spencer and Delva Baxter. His parents preceded him in death in 1948, when Dave was just 13 years old. He and his younger sister, Sharon, were raised and loved dearly by family member Leola Reed of Salinas, California. Dave served in the Air Force in the 1950's working on B-29 airplanes. He then worked at FMC as a manufacturing engineer and Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Space from 1967-1997 in the Missile Support Division. He was a programmer, producibility engineer and supervisor for the Polaris Missile Project. He was proud that his satellite design was hanging in the George Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University, and was honored to be invited to the dedication ceremony where he met the then current President and all past Presidents and First Ladies, except President Ronald Reagan. He loved and cherished life enough to be a blood donor with over 35 gallons donated at Stanford University. Many folks survived leukemia because of generosity. He was a silent hero. Some of the communities in California that benefited from Dave's giving ways were Aromas, Watsonville, Campbell, Saratoga, and Lincoln. Dave was a Jack-of-all-Trades that could fix and build anything. Throughout his life, he was a fountain of endless physical energy and had a passion for fabricating things or making them better – repairing, remodeling and improving. His love of cars ruled his life, having built numerous hot rods throughout his life. A quiet man by nature, he took delight in seeing family and friends enjoy the fruits of his labor. David Loren Baxter was a devoted husband, father, brother, 'Papa' and loyal friend to many, his loss will be felt by all. Married for almost 30 years, his wife Gail passed away just a few short weeks ago. Dave's sister Sharon Gaddis and his daughter, Michele Hoogendoorn (from a previous marriage to Raylene Baca Baxter) also preceded him in death. He is survived by his loving sons, David R. Baxter and Kenneth Baxter (Stephanie), step-daughters Stacie Ciaffredo (Richard) and Carrie Terzian (James) and four grandchildren, Adam, Koedy, Alice and Gabrielle 'Elle'. A private family service will be held at Berge Pappas Smith Chapel of the Angels on March 16, 2016. Please visit www.bergepappassmith.com to view the memorial page, full obituary and guest book for David Baxter. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association.

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  1. Dear Ones,

    So sorry to hear about your dear father passing away. Our hearts breaks for you. We knew Dave for more than 30 years and Gail for 53 years. We will miss them so much.

    Love in Christ

    The Matchell,s

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  2. I’m sorry for your loss Dave was such a great guy .I had the pleasure of knowing Dave and Gail both.I took care of them for about a year.
    Dave had such a passion for cars which I could relate to because I also like cars. Dave would tell me stories of his life which I found amazing..I think of both of them often.But now they are both angels looking down on us …rest in peace…

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  3. We are sorry for your loss. As said in other comments, “he was a great guy”.

    One of the first memories I have of Dave was before he and Gail were married. Dave heard I was graduating from college. He arranged an “interview” so I could get the most incredible tour of his work place. I won’t share the details, but the twinkle in his eye, the passion for his work, and the coolest things a young engineer could imagine, is a fond memory of Dave. He did love cars. And he loved Gail.

    Our sincerest condolences,
    KC, Miren, Aisea, & Andoni

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  4. He was a good and kind man. He opened his home, and more particularly his garage, to the friends of his children, of whom I am one. He always had a smile on his face and I never heard him say a cross word to anyone. We could be loud, and I am sure obnoxious at times, but he never said anything negative to us. He is part of my childhood memories and I am thankful to have known him.

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  5. Dear Red and Betty,
    You both held a very special place in the hearts of Dad and Gail. Kenny and I have been thinking of you both. We hope to talk to you soon. Thank you for your kind words.

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  6. Thank you so much. The loss of Dad has been painful, but we know that he is in a better place. Kenny and I have enjoyed hearing stories about dad these past few days, thank you for sharing yours.

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  7. Some of my fondest memories are of the long summer nights when all of you boys and dad were out in the front of the house trying to start one car or another. It was always at the end of the day just as it was getting dark! Boy what a ruckus you all would make. Dad was always in the thick of it too. Big smile on his face when the engine would turn over for the first time. 😜

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  8. So sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. We have fond memories of both he and Gail. She was indeed lucky to have had him in her life. .

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