Robert Thomas "Skip" Baxter
March 3, 2022
Robert Thomas "Skip" Baxter was born on July 2, 1940, in Spokane, Washington, and passed away at his home in Thompson Falls, Montana, on January 25, 2022. Skip will be remembered by many for his great sense of humor, strong work ethic, quick wit and love for his Lord, family, church, community and the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks.
Skip moved to Thompson Falls with his parents Claude A. "Jack" and Elsie Katherine in 1945 and graduated from Thompson Falls High School in 1958. After graduation, he attended Montana State University for two years and then completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Montana in 1962. Always eager to expand his knowledge, Skip pursued his juris doctorate at the University of Montana School of Law, graduating in 1965, and later obtained his master's in taxation law from New York University.
Skip had a very strong work ethic and found success in the many jobs he had throughout his lifetime. His first job growing up was helping his father with the family business, Baxter Manufacturing. After his graduation from law school, Skip worked in Great Falls at the Church, Harris, Johnson, & Williams law firm, in Kalispell at Murphy, Robinson, Heckathorn, & Phillips, and then returned to Thompson Falls in 1974 to start Baxter & Fletcher, Attorneys at Law, with Bob Fletcher. In 1986, he decided to switch careers and, as part of a local investors' group, purchased First State Bank of Thompson Falls where he worked until his retirement in 2006. That group was proud to bring a "local community bank" back to Thompson Falls.
Outside of the office, Skip could be found outdoors cutting wood, mowing lawns, snowplowing, snowmobiling, backpacking, hiking or clearing Forest Service trails with a loosely formed trail clearing group he called FOTOTS (Friends of The Old Trail System), which was responsible for many logs being cut, sticks being tossed and rocks being dug out of trails in the Thompson Falls area. On the rare occasion that you'd find Skip indoors, he'd be quizzing the kids and grandkids about all their activities, watching the University of Montana Grizzlies play football, or caring for the many animals that found a home with him and Susie.
Skip was preceded in death by his father Jack in 1964, and his mother Elsie in 2002. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susie; daughter Kate; son Michael; daughter-in-law Jeneese; and grandchildren Megan, Ellie, Aubrey and Nathan – all of Thompson Falls.
Services are tentatively planned for summer 2022.
Memorials may be made to an organization of your choice or to School District #2 (209 Haley Ave. West, Thompson Falls, MT 59873) to assist with the purchase of shot clocks and new scoreboards for the Thompson Falls High School gymnasium. Please put a memo on the check that it's for the Skip Baxter Memorial Project.