Verlin “Johnny” Baxter
May 22, 1921 - April 27, 2013
Verlin "Johnny" Johnson Baxter, 91, passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at her daughterís home with her daughters at her side. Johnny was born on May 22, 1921, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Esther and Wilber Johnson. Johnny attended Storm Lake High School, Buena Vista College and graduated from the University of Iowa-Ames in 1944 with a B.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition. She worked as the dietician at Cook County Hospital in Chicago following her internship and graduation. Johnny was married to Dr. Robert Corwin Baxter, D.D.S., on December 12, 1944. The couple later moved to Keokuk, Iowa to establish a dental practice and she was the dietician at Keosauqua Hospital in Van Buren County, Iowa. In 1967, she moved to Jefferson City, Mo., to be an Administrative Assistant at Memorial Hospital in charge of the dietary and housekeeping departments. Previous employees of Memorial Hospital fondly remember her for the elaborate staff Christmas parties that she would plan and host. Following her retirement from Memorial in 1980 she worked at the Missouri Division of Health as a hospital surveyor. She retired from the State of Missouri in 1993. Johnny loved being outdoors and spent many hours tending the woodland garden that she created in her back yard. The beautiful garden and the ìfairy pathsî she created were a play place for her grandchildren and they spent many hours with her there. She was an avid china painter and belonged to the Jefferson City China Painters Club. She will be best remembered by family and friends for her dedication to family, her artistic gifts in visual and performing arts, the beautiful gardens she created, her incredible talent in china painting, her culinary ability and the special meals she created to share with others. She is survived by her daughters, Sandra Miller and husband Steve Miller of Grass Valley, Calif., Meg Kocher and husband Bill Kocher of Holts Summit, Mo., and Sarah Wilding and husband Doug Wilding of Jefferson City. Johnny had 11 grandchildren, Jennifer Thomas, Eric Howser, Michael Wilkens, Scott Howser, Brian Miller, Jason Kocher, Adam Howser, Joe Kocher, Chelsea Wilding, Rebecca Wilding and Mallory Wilding and also 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Dr. Wilber E. Johnson; and daughter, Katherine Howser. A private family celebration of life is planned as directed by Johnny. Memorials are suggested to Hospice Compassus or the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be left for the family online at heartlandcremation.com.