The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 15, 2024

Carol Joan (Bell) Baxter

Our beloved Carol Joan (Bell) Baxter, 93, was called home to Jesus on the morning of Friday, November 24, 2023.

Anyone who knew her, loved her. Mom’s loving advice was “you gotta make your own sunshine.” She was a great listener and a friend to many.

Carol passionately loved her family and friends alike.

Ongie, as loved ones called her, loved going out to eat, sometimes entertaining the entire restaurant with her stories and antics. She also loved nice clothing, jewelry, purses, and shoes. She went thrift shopping like it was a mission, sourcing all kinds of “cool” things. She was an avid reader. She painted, and colored. Above all other hobbies, she loved to travel, and to take off driving her car.

Carol Baxter

Until one year ago, Carol had a dog or cat companion her whole life. She once nurtured a litter of fox pups with a dropper, saved them, and released them. She fed squirrels, birds, and any other animal that happened to get into her yard. She leaves behind Bandit (“Gammy’s Little Boy”), Maggie, Evelyn, Koda, Xavier, and many other grand dogs.

She was a member of the Red Hatters Club a.k.a. ‘Red Hat Floozies.”
Carol worked at various retail stores including Montgomery Ward, Pollock’s Furniture, Merle Norman Studio, and Rite Aid.

Mom was a character! Her manner was energetic. Very witty. She enjoyed making people blush by some zaney comment. Ongie was a giver. Always offering “gas money.” She found happiness in helping others and making you feel loved and valued. She was fearless, adventurous, full of joy, and loved life.

Carol was the daughter of Wilbert and Harriet (Shivley) Bell.

She is survived by two sisters, Alice (Bell) Lake and Jadine (Bell) Conn (Ed), and one brother, James Bell, all living locally.

She was preceded in death by her husband, RIchard C. Baxter; son, Mark J. Collins, and granddaughter, Jennifer Duvall.

Surviving are two daughters, one son, and stepfamily. Joy (Collins) Marshall (Jeff), of Nashville Indiana, Cathy (Collins) Donnelly (John) of Van Wert, Scott Collins (Elaine) of Grover Hill. Stepchildren include Matthew Baxter of Vandalia, John Baxter (Susan) of Oak Island, North Carolina, Beth (Baxter) DuVall (Bill) of Leland, North Carolina, Carol (Baxter) Williman (Pete) of Van Wert, and Marilyn (Baxter) Elrod (Albert) of Wilmington, North Carolina. Carol has 25 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services for Carol Joan Baxter will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 30, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Van Wert. Viewing will be from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, November 29. Burial will be at Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. A family luncheon will follow at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home Community Room. Please come with fun, memorable experiences and stories to share with family. We look forward to your company.

Preferred memorials: CHP Home Care and Hospice.

Online condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 11/28/23 at 9:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries