The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 15, 2024

Brian Wade Baxter

Brian Wade Baxter, 69, of Van Wert, passed away at 7:06 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023, shortly after arrival at Parkview Noble Hospital, in Kendallville, Indiana.

He was born on January 22, 1954, in Van Wert, the son of Jean Rosella (Lockerby) Wittung and Richard “Dale” Baxter, who both preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his stepfather, Wallace Merlin Wittung. He had been married to Cindy (Allen) Baxter and later to Tina (Foster) Baxter, who both survive.

Brian Baxter

Other family survivors include his four children, Zachary Baxter of Convoy, Kyle (Tiffani) Baxter of Van Wert, Raegan Baxter of Cleveland, and Reed Baxter of Van Wert; a brother, Brad (Gloria) Baxter of Convoy; two sisters, Kim (Randy) Adams of Van Wert, and Colette (Dean) Rhodes of Luna Pier, Michigan; his five grandchildren, Dylan, Drew, Connor, Blaine, and Braeley Baxter; one great grandchild, LeAnna Baxter, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Brian graduated from Crestview High School in 1972. He retired as an engineer for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He had also worked at Federal Mogul, Zollner Piston, and in the construction trade, both for Carl Wells Construction, in Noble County, Indiana, and for Wayne Williams Construction, upon returning to Van Wert. He also worked in the veal calf industry, which he greatly enjoyed. Brian attended First Baptist Church of Van Wert. He was also a proud member of the National Rifle Association and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

Brian certainly was not afraid of work, taking on projects of his own, as well as helping family, friends, and neighbors with anything they might need. He lived the phrase “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

If he wasn’t working on something, you’d likely find him somewhere on the water fishing or accompanied by his canine buddy, Cooper.  He enjoyed hunting, target shooting, and fur trapping, with his good friend, Trav Feasby. Brian also enjoyed bird watching and researching the various species he’d encounter, a hobby he inherited from his mother. He loved raising animals, including goats, hogs, laying hens, and rabbits, as well as caring for injured or orphaned wild animals, including whitetail deer, raccoons, squirrels, and rabbits. He enjoyed the outdoors, having recently traveled to Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Yellowstone National Park.  Brian was an avid sports fan, always cheering on the Buckeyes, Browns, Cavaliers, and Reds. He was most dedicated to cheering on his children and grandchildren, as they participated in sports and other activities.

Most of all, Brian was proud of his children and grandchildren. He supported them all, with whatever dreams they had or goals they’d hoped to achieve. He was always their biggest fan. 

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at Cowan & Son Funeral Home, Van Wert, with Minister John Rager officiating. Calling hours will be held from 3-8 p.m. Friday, June 9, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

Preferred memorials: Van Wert County Humane Society or First Baptist Church Missions.

Online condolences may be expressed on the Tribute Wall at

POSTED: 06/06/23 at 8:19 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries