ALFRED BAXTER

BAXTER, Alfred

July 2, 1924 – December 15, 2016

Alfred was born in Armadale, Scotland to Catherine and Matthew Baxter on July 2, 1924.  He was one of four boys. Jackie, Marshall, and Stanley were his brothers.

Although they led a very humble life, they were known as the “Toffs of the Capers (town)” due to their clean, well- mannered upbringing. The stories of his childhood there always seemed like a faraway time and place where water had to be collected from a well and children engaged in adventure and camaraderie free of hovering parents.

Alfred grew up a very quiet but kind soul who, as a boy with very little, shared generously with his friends. This generosity would extend to later in life when he was the person many people could always rely on.

When he was fourteen, his father died, and there were plans to split up the family, but he convinced his mother to keep the family together by promising that he would support them by handing over all his pay for household expenses. He also felt responsible for his young brother, Stanley.

When Alfred met and married Frances Vallely, they were shunned by Frances’s family due to their religious differences, which were taboo in those days. However, Alfred’s good nature soon won over the family, and, in fact, he became the “favourite” son-in-law.

Several years later they immigrated to Canada with their daughter, Lorna, where they had a large circle of relatives and friends from the “old Country” and with hard work and sacrifice built a good life.

Alfred retained his strong Scottish accent, and despite his thick brogue and quiet presence he was always well-liked.

Later, when his daughter and her family moved to California, he and Frances left their friends and relatives in Ontario to reside in Nanaimo, British Columbia to be closer to their grandchildren. They made several trips a year and stayed for weeks at a time, forming a strong relationship with their four grandchildren, Rhachel, Ashley, Courtney, and Alex. Christmas was a particularly special time to share.

Alfred was always in attendance at his grandchildren’s events. He was able to witness their transition into adulthood and was very proud of them.

If kindness, thoughtfulness, and willingness to help anyone in need are measurements of wealth, Alfred was a very rich man.

He died December, 16, 2016 at the age of 92 in the Palliative Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Gardening was his passion, and wherever he lived he built a well- cared for garden. Donations in his name to a local botanical garden will be appreciated and a way of fondly remembering Alfred.


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