Willard E. Baxter, Ph.D. - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Willard E. Baxter, Ph.D.

December 14, 1929 - June 28, 2016

Dr. Willard E. Baxter, age 86, of Newark, DE, UD Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, passed away on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Born in Chester, PA, Dr. Baxter was the son of the late James H. and Carrie E. Baxter. He was a graduate of Glen-Nor High School and received his BS from Ursinus College in 1951, MS from the University of Wisconsin in 1952 and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956. Dr. Baxter taught at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio for 2 years. In 1958, he joined the faculty at the University of Delaware, where he taught for 36 years. During his tenure at UD, he was president of the faculty senate, chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and president of the AAUP. His former students remember him as an energetic and enthusiastic teacher. The Mathematical Association of America commended his distinguished service as Chairman, Governor and Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Pennsylvania Delaware Section.

Willard was active in his community. He served on the City of Newark Planning Commission and was president of the Delaware Academy of Science. His strong interest in the teaching of mathematics led him to co-found the Delaware Secondary School Mathematics League in 1986. After his retirement, Willard was a member of the Deltones Barbershop Chorus. For 17 years, he volunteered as a mathematics tutor at Newark High School and was recognized for his dedication to the students by the Newark Morning Rotary Club, the BTL Foundation, the News Journal and the Christina Board of Education. In 2006, Willard received an honorary diploma from Newark High School.

Willard was an avid sports fan. He followed the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team from his early youth and attended University of Delaware football games for many years.

He was a beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Alvina B. (Braun) Baxter; brother Wayne H. Baxter; children Barbara Baxter (Marc Postman); Janet Baxter; Nancy Belunis (Charles); grandchildren Alyssa, Claire, Amanda and Thomas; and eight nieces and nephews.

Interment will be private. A memorial will be held at a future date.

The family kindly requests memorial contributions to Ursinus College. Please note that gifts are in memory of Willard E. Baxter, and mail to the Office of Advancement, 601 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426 or online at www.ursinus.edu/makegift


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11 Condolences for Willard E. Baxter, Ph.D.

  • Dr. Baxter’s commitment to education was outstanding! As a teacher at Newark High School, I was very familiar with seeing him in the hallways on the way to help tutor students in math. So many people were helped by this thoughtful man.

  • Nancy and family – so sorry for your loss. We will always remember the pleasure of you father’s company for dinner years ago in Rehobeth . Our deepest sympathies – the Urban family.

  • Alvina and family,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. Will was an extraordinary person. He was an inspiration to many students and especially to me. I tried, in my teaching career, to emulate his enthusiasm for mathematics and especially in the classroom. I was with him thru all the math league years and missed he and Alvina at this year’s state meet. I will miss the hugs I got from him as I crossed the stage with my teams. As an avid St. Louis Cardinal fan myself, I enjoyed talking baseball with him. I can’t say enough about him. He was a wonderful man, teacher, fan and friend.

  • Dear Alvina: Willard was always so sweet and friendly when he saw me walking with the daycare children. I will miss seeing him on our Apple Road walks. Thinking of you…. Margaret Joyce

  • Our deepest sympathy goes out to Alvina and all the Baxter family. Will was a good man whose friendly manner made people want to associate with him. His many contributions to the mathematical community were outstanding. He will be greatly missed. Our years knowing the Baxters will always be fondly remembered by us. Dick and Bernice Weinacht

  • Dr. Baxter’s commitment to excellence in science and mathematics at the high school level was exemplified by his leadership role in promoting student research projects through his leadership role in the Delaware Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Participation in the Symposium sparked the interest of some of my biology students at Christiana High School and students at other high schools throughout Delaware to pursue careers in science and engineering. Dr. Baxter’s love for learning has left a lasting legacy.

  • Dear Alvina & Family —

    Willard’s contributions to the Delaware math community are legendary. He constantly had Delaware’s math students’ and math teachers’ best interests in mind in all of his work.. His co-founding the Delaware Secondary School Mathematics League forty years ago has impacted thousands of Delaware’s math students and math coaches. Willard’s enthusiasm, vision and energy will be missed but his legacy will live on. Alvina, we extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

    Denise & John Griffiths

  • To all the Baxter family; I admired your Dad so much, he really helped (and Alvina) raise me; with as much time as I spent with you. I have so many fond memories, but the Beach time on the float and how he taught me to enjoy the Ocean is one of the highlights. Blessings and Peace to you all. Joan Tupin

  • Alvina and All Baxter Family,

    We extend our deepest sympathies to you. We were deeply saddened when we heard of Willard’s passing. Willard had been our esteemed colleague and dear friend for more than 40 years. He was like an elder brother to George and was always there when George needed good advice. George first met Willard in person at the 1969 AIMS meeting in New Orleans. (Coincidentally, George is currently at the 2016 AIMS meeting in Orlando, which has brought back fond memories of the beginning of their long friendship.) Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baxter Family during this difficult time.

    Juliet and George Hsiao

  • Dr. Baxter was a wonderful teacher and a caring mentor, not only to college students but also to the many high school students he tutored. The world has lost an excellent teacher and a fine, good man.

  • Dear Alvina and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear that Willard passed away. He will be missed by many and he touched a lot of lives. I will certainly miss seeing him at the beach. As a long time neighbor, it always brightened my day to see you two pull into your driveway next door. Willard always asked me about my teaching and growing administrative role at the college and ALWAYS had great advice for me.
    If there is anything I can do to help, either home or at your second home next door, let me know.
    Hugs and prayers to all of you.