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Marysville's Ken Baxter passes away at 83

MARYSVILLE — Longtime local resident Ken Baxter, for whom the city of Marysville's Ken Baxter Community Center was named, passed away at the age of 83 on Monday, Feb. 20.

Marianne Powers, Baxter's youngest daughter, explained that a viewing of Baxter's body will take place at the Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home, located at 804 State Ave. in Marysville, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. The Marysville Church of the Nazarene, located at 8240 64th St. NE, will serve as the site for Baxter's funeral and memorial on Friday, March 2.

"We've been going through all the newspaper articles about Dad, and there's so many, going all the way back to the 1950s," Powers said of her father, who served as a firefighter for 31 years and as a member of the Marysville City Council for 26 years. "He was a race car driver, a member of the Coast Guard and a boater. He was born in Langley, but he'd lived in Marysville since forever."

Powers noted the number of local businesses that Baxter had owned, including his auto repair and glass supply shops, and joined city of Marysville Recreation Coordinator Maryke Burgess in recalling Baxter's ritual of morning coffee at the Flapjack restaurant with his friends.

"He took a real interest in me and this place when I started working here 10 years ago," said Burgess, who works out of the Ken Baxter Community Center. "It's unusual to name a building like this after a living person, but it was great that our namesake could stop by. He cared about what happened here. He wanted to make sure this center was serving seniors and the community."

According to Burgess, she and Baxter shared many morning conversations together at the center, after his regular breakfasts at the Flapjack, and she considers herself fortunate to have received the insights of his experiences as a local businessman and a member of the City Council.

"He visited with all the city leaders," Burgess said. "He would shoot the breeze with them, but it was also that he took pride in his community. His interest in this city didn't just end with his time on the Council."

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