In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Duncan Hunter Baxter


Airframe Technician, RCN


Born: 24 Jun 1942          Died: 09 May 2023


BAXTER, Duncan Hunter - Age 80 years, of Dartmouth. Following a lengthy journey with liver disease and a short stay at Hospice Halifax, on May 9, 2023, Duncan peacefully slipped his earthly mooring and is now sailing uncharted waters. Born in Halifax to Henry and Margaret Baxter, Duncan and his siblings grew up in Hamilton, ON. During the 1950s Hamilton was experiencing the impact of a post-war baby boom. To accommodate a growing population the public school system resorted to shifts, unintentionally providing students time to pursue other interests. Always a doer (mixed with a bit of mischief), Dunc worked various part-time jobs and joined the Air Force Cadets. Leaving school at age 17 to follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother Bruce, he and good friend Vern Craig boarded the train taking them to the Royal Canadian Naval Training Base in Cornwallis, NS, where they began “boot camp”. He took great pleasure in reminiscing and telling stories of those years when in the company of his “guys”, son Brent, son-in-law Don Smith, and grandson Brandon Smith; all serving members in various HMC Ships during their own military service. Among Dunc’s fondest memories were of his years as an Airframe Technician, in HMCS BONAVENTURE, maintaining Sea King helicopters and Tracker aircraft. Later in life, his daughter gave him a nylon jacket bearing the “Bonnie” crest. Whenever and wherever he wore it, complete strangers would approach to ask “Were you on the Bonnie?” which began numerous conversations that always delighted him. In January 1961 he and Joyce met on a blind date during her graduating year from the Victoria General Hospital School of Nursing. His quiet and steady persistence soon won her over, and on Halloween of that year she happily accepted an engagement ring and his proposal. Married June 16, 1962, their lives became enriched with the birth of son Brent, in May 1964, followed 13 months later by daughter Jackie, June 1965. “A millionaire’s family.” Dunc was a “car guy” who loved driving, and over their many years together, thousands of miles were logged. During the 1960s, before seat belt laws, many trips were made back and forth to Hamilton and Sauble Beach, to enjoy time together with his extended family. Car shopping was a favourite pastime and new cars always donned the driveway, each leaving his care as pristine as the day it arrived. Leaving the Navy in 1969, the next few decades had him pursuing various ventures in the business world. Working with the owner of “United Auto Parts” in Dartmouth then as co-owner of “Automotive and Industrial Marine” in Halifax. Leisure time was spent at their cottage on Lake Charlotte, making wonderful memories. 1988 – 1995 saw the arrival of four grandchildren. Duncan delighted in his role as “Papa.” Any time spent with them brought him joy. He took much pride in watching them grow and revelled in their accomplishments. An avid traveler, planning the next trip brought almost as much pleasure to him as the trip itself. From a short local day trip to a 30-day cruise or bus tour. From Newfoundland to Dawson City, Hawaii to Skagway, New Zealand to Beijing, London to Morocco and numerous places in between. Life was rich and full despite his first heart attack at age 42 and a quadruple bypass at age 62. His determination to live life to the fullest was well known by those he loved. Dependable and devoted to his family, he was also an active member of the Church of the Holy Spirit, serving for many years on the Property Committee and a period as Warden. In recent years the deaths of friends with whom he worked side by side on many church projects was a difficult time of loss for Dunc. In 1991 he began work with the Corps of Commissionaires. Thinking it would be a brief stay, Dunc finally retired 24 years later at age 75! He especially enjoyed his years at HMCS Trinity, and over time became somewhat of a “grandfather figure” to the many young personnel posted there. A man of few words but a man of action, he will be greatly missed. Duncan is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joyce; son, Brent (Joanne), Victoria, BC; daughter, Jackie (Don) Smith, New Ross, NS; grandchildren, Brittany (Blaine) Patriquin, Waverley, NS; Brandon (Bailey) Smith, Upper Sackville, NS; Katie (Kees) Poulos, Victoria, BC; Jillian (Ryan) Grieve, Victoria, BC; his pride and joy great-grandchildren, Eli James and Isla Joyce Patriquin; his oldest sister, Frances Logan, Cambridge, ON; brother, Bruce (Sonia), Victoria, BC; and many nieces and nephews. Also survived by in-laws, Jean Edwards, Fort McMurray, AB; Joe Stevens, Bedford, NS; Ted (Linda) Stevens, Upper Sackville, NS; Richard Warner, Harrietsfield, NS; Tom (Joan) Stevens, Dartmouth, NS; Peter (Helen) Stevens, Kentville, NS; Corrine Stevens, Halifax, NS; Louise (Trifon) Michalos, Bedford, NS; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by parents, Henry and Margaret Baxter; his youngest sister, Barbara Brown; in-laws, Vernon and Marie Stevens; and sisters-in-law, Debbie Huskins and Judy Warner. The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to long-time caregivers, Dr. Howard Conter, and staff at The Medicine Shoppe, Baker Drive. Special thanks to Dr. Andrew Baker for his compassionate and unwavering support when life was most difficult, and to the staff at Hospice Halifax for their exceptional care during his final weeks. Eternal gratitude to the many extended family, friends and neighbours who so lovingly supported us over the past year. The many gifts of food and flowers, respite, the many cards and kind words, often arriving exactly when needed. Thank you. Donations in memory may be made to Church of the Holy Spirit, 1 Regency Dr., Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1Z7; Hospice Halifax, 618 Francklyn St., Halifax, NS B3H 3B4, or charity of choice. On Saturday, September 16th at 2 p.m. a Celebration of Life will take place at Church of the Holy Spirit, 1 Regency Dr., Dartmouth, with The Rev. Edwin Ebsary officiating, followed by a reception at Horizon Recreation Centre, 168 Redoubt Way, Eastern Passage. (The Saltwire Network 05 Sep 2023)


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