The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

John W. Baxter

John W. Baxter, 93, booked passage for his flight home at 6:40 p.m. Saturday, March 20, 2021. John had been residing at Highland Springs of Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 

John W. Baxter

He was born October 19, 1927, in Van Wert County, the son of William M. and Anna (Overholt) Baxter, who both preceded him in death.

He was a graduate of Ridge (now Lincoln-view) High School and went on to serve his country in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict as part of the occupation forces in Germany, where he met his first wife, the former Ursula Arnold of Giessen, Germany. Ursula came to rural Van Wert and was married to John on June 26, 1956. 

Together, they farmed the family farm, in addition to John working at Continental Can Company (Greif Bros.), from which he retired. After “retirement,” John and his second wife, Donna, packed up and moved to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to begin new careers as stained-glass artists. They opened and operated Baxter’s Stained Glass for the next 35 years. All the items they made were one-of-a kind treasures. Together, these Yankees enjoyed meeting people from all over the United States and the world.

Dad was the picture of an “old man from the hills” with his long white beard and mustache, bib overalls, and straw hat. People always wanted to take his picture, which he accommodated. When asking Dad if he had any regrets he replied that, “The Lord has been very good to me, He has given me a long and fruitful life. What more can any of us ask?”

John leaves behind his wife of 39 years, Donna (Dailey); a son, William and wife Julie (Baer) Baxter of rural Van Wert; a stepson, Randall and wife Katina (Walls) Burton of Newark, Delaware; and a stepdaughter (and lifesaver), Krista (Burton) Pillon of Burlington, Kentucky. John also leaves behind his grandchildren, Robert Baxter of Albany, Eric Baxter of Van Wert, Andrew Burton and his children, Randal and Katyna of Delaware (Ohio), and Krista’s children, Chase and Hunter Pillon of Burlington, Kentucky. 

John was also preceded in death by his first wife, Ursula, who passed away in 1980; a brother and sister-in-law, Alfred and Eleanor (Kimble) Baxter; and a sister and brother-in-law, Juanita and Robert Timmons. 

Dad will be missed, especially on Sunday evening when he would call and check up on his family. Safe travels, we will see you again.

Funeral services will be held at noon Thursday, March 25, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory in Van Wert. Burial will immediately follow in Ridge Cemetery in rural Van Wert County, to include military honors.

Visitation is from 10 a.m.-noon Thursday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 03/22/21 at 2:15 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries