Celebrating the Life of

Jewell Rae Smith Baxter

August 27, 1926 - December 28, 2012

Jewell Rae Smith Baxter c.1969
Judy Baxter c.1969

My Aunt Judy
as I will always remember her
taken on one of her trips to visit family in Rockford, Illinois about 1969.

The various sections of this page include her obituary, photos of her life and funeral services, remembrances, audio of funeral, and a video slide show. Friends and family are encouraged to leave their remembrances through the provided form.

Choose to Display:
Obituary    Remembrances    Photos    Video Slideshow    Audio of Funeral
Share Your Remembrances


From Roger Baxter —

I am Roger Baxter, Judy Baxter's nephew, the son of her husband's next older brother. Our families had lots of contact from the time I was born until about the time I finished college, got married, and we all moved to different corners of the country out of easy visiting range. But whenever I came "back home", I always made a point of visiting my Aunt Judy and Uncle Carney.

My Aunt Judy's daughter is just about my age and we spent a lot of time together while growing up. Whenever our families got together we would spend the whole day and half the night together playing. And one summer Ruthie spent several weeks visiting her Grandma and Grandpa Baxter at Naylor and stayed a week at my family's house on the farm nearby ... and I broke Ruthie's arm while we were jumping on an old tractor innertube!

I have so many good memories of Aunt Judy that all seem to revolve around the Baxter clan all getting together at someone's house or another and good smells coming from the kitchen. While I know that during my first few months of life our families lived across the street from one another in Corning, Arkansas, my first memory of Aunt Judy is at Christmas in Rockford when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My family lived next door to my Baxter grandparents and the whole clan came for Christmas. There were grandchildren sleeping in every corner of both of our houses. It was a grand time and one of my earliest clear memories.

I remember the Baxter family reunion in 1960 (I think) that was held at a city park in Springfield, Illinois. So all the kinfolk from near and far gathered at Aunt Judy's house that backed up to the main line of the Illinois Central Railroad. We were all packed into that little house on pallets made down on the floor from wall to wall in every room of the house. I recall that my place was under the kitchen table!

And I remember a couple of years later when the whole Baxter clan gathered at my family's home on the farm near Naylor to celebrate my Baxter grandparent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. The house was filled with all of the adults and all of us kids - cousins - were requested to stay outside and play. But one of the things I remember best about that day was the ice cream balls that were rolled in golden colored coconut ... that I believe was Aunt Judy's idea.

My wife, Janice, and I were in the middle of our annual trip "back home" when Aunt Judy suddenly died. We were planning on visiting her and Uncle Carney the very next week as we left northern Illinois and came to the Arkansas/Missouri area to visit kinfolk there.

I cherish my memories of my sweet Aunt Judy.

From Anna Rae Blaylock Mayo —

There are so many it's hard to know where to begin.

My first memory is the celebration of Aunt Judy and Uncle Carney's wedding. They were back in Naylor, Missouri after having gotten married in Reno, Nevada. Mrs. Smith was having a get-together for them. I can only remember Mrs. Smith, Mom (Cona Blaylock) and Grandma Baxter being there. Oh, of course, Richard Baxter and I were there too. Mrs. Smith had boxes of different candy bars on the table. While we were waiting, and waiting, Richard and I managed to sample quite a few of them. Finally Uncle Carney and Aunt Judy came home from the movies and went straight to bed. Shortly thereafter, most of the kids around Naylor showed up banging on things and yelling. So, they got up and joined the party.

The next oldest remembrance was at Grandma and Grandpa's house outside Naylor ... the old two-story house. I was about seven and playing the knife game where you flip it off your finger. Aunt Judy and Uncle Carney came walking up the daffodil-lined path with a bassinet; I thought they had baby in it and got so excited I cut my finger. I remember it never bled, but I had a scar for several years.

I remember Aunt Judy giving me a cigar box full of ribbons and flowers that all the girls used to wear back in the forties.

I baby sat for Rodney one night during the Christmas season. They had angel hair on their tree and I thought it was most beautiful ... still do. Think they should bring that stuff back!

Ron and I were married September 11, 1954. Aunt Judy was my matron of honor. Since we were married on the same day (this was purely coincidental), we sometimes spent our anniversaries together.

Ron and I bought a mobile home from Uncle Carney and Aunt Judy. That was our first home ... all 27 feet of it. We lived in it until we moved to Minnesota in 1957.

Like Roger, I remember all the family get-togethers. The first Christmas after Ron and I were married was at Uncle Carney and Aunt Judy's. I imagine the whole clan was there; I know Uncle R.V. was. I believe that was before he and Aunt Betty were married.

When we had the meeting in the park at Springfield, we were at Aunt Judy and Uncle Carney's. I believe this may have been and anniversary get-together for them, or it may have been another time. Anyway, they had a picture taken of everyone. It turned out pretty good except my son had to stick his tongue out. But, I guess one out of many isn't too bad. There was this little girl there I didn't know and asked to whom she belonged. She was Uncle Johnie and Aunt Marie Baxter's daughter, Janice Baxter Ossola. I couldn't believe my Mom had never mentioned they'd had a baby!

I think I've pretty much written a book here so am going to end it except to say, I think they are very special and am privileged to have had them in my life and my Aunt Judy will be sorely missed.

Learn more about Jewell Rae Smith Baxter at FamilyThenAndNow.org

Choose to Display:
Obituary    Remembrances    Photos    Video Slideshow    Audio of Funeral
Share Your Remembrances

Please note: There is now public access available to this page through my home page.
CLICK to return to Roger Baxter's home page.