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Lucille "Lucy" Frances Baxter

Lucille “Lucy” Frances (Long, Strait) Baxter was born January 19, 1945, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, to William “Chub” Long and Alice (Mahoney) Long. Alice was not sure she wanted another baby with the next youngest only nine months old.

Grandma Mahoney assured them, “You’ll find that this one will be a blessing and you’ll always be glad.” Lucy was quickly adored by her siblings and Lucy and her sister Lorrie grew to be inseparable.

They spent many hours on their family ranch near Hulett, Wyoming, playing dolls, exploring the creeks and climbing the hills and rim rocks. One of their favorite activities was to ride horses, and they would spend many hours walking the pastures trying to catch them.

Lucy passed away on September 9, 2022, at her farm home near Blythedale, Missouri, at age 77.

Lucy has four siblings, Daniel O. Long (deceased 2014) and wife Becky of Lamoni, Iowa, David T. Long and wife, Sherry of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, M. Valora “Lorrie” Long of Lamoni. One brother, William M., died in infancy.

Lucy was first united in marriage to James “Jim” D. Strait on December 28, 1966. Two children were born to Jim and Lucy, Nikolas D. Strait of Iowa City, Iowa and Krista N. Strait-Higgins (Michael Higgins) of Grafton, Wisconsin.

Lucy and Lorrie had married siblings; Ralph Strait (Lorrie’s first husband) was a half-brother to Jim. When Ralph and Jim’s beloved step-mother died in March 1972 in Portland, Oregon, Jim had his pilot’s license and flew them to the service.

The plane crashed and the brothers didn’t survive; they were missing for eight days. Lucy was eight months pregnant with Krista, Nik was three years old and Lorrie and Ralph had three children of their own (ages five, three and one).

Lucy recalled that, “The community of Lamoni encircled us in their prayers. I remember feeling loved and supported.”

Lucy was united in marriage to Larry N. Baxter on August 17, 1974. To this marriage Larry brought two sons, Clinton D. Baxter (deceased 2013) and Eric G. Baxter of Blythedale.

Larry’s first wife died during childbirth in March 1973. Lucy was the nurse on duty and was heartbroken for the young family.

Understanding his grief, Lucy sent a Christmas card to Larry and later that spring Larry dropped by for an unexpected visit. Four months later, they were united in marriage.

As Lucy recalled, Larry was the answer to her prayers, providing a husband and father for their combined family. Kelly D. Baxter of Lander, Wyoming, was born to Larry and Lucy completing their family.

They raised their family in Lamoni. Lucy was a busy mom and homemaker. There was never a dull moment in their family home.

Lucy enjoyed her children’s diverse activities at home, school, church, in the community and on their farm. Lucy wrote, “We had a good family life. Our children got along well together. We had a lot of fun times.”

Lucy worked as a nurse for 40 years; the final 26 years as a Home Health Nurse for Decatur County Public Health, retiring in 2006. She was recognized as one of Iowa’s 100 Greatest Nurses in 2005.

Lucy loved her career. She was a natural caregiver and considered it her ministry.

Lucy and Larry moved from Lamoni to their farm north of Blythedale in 1996. Lucy enjoyed the peace and quiet of living in the country and was delighted by abundant birds and wildlife.

She had a passion for reading, her horses, and her flower gardens. She thoroughly enjoyed participating in several Lamoni clubs. She treasured her friendships and the joy and laughter that accompanied them.

Lucy loved being “Mimi” to her grandchildren including Kelsey, Colton and Kennedie Baxter, Isaac and Owen Higgins, and Charlotte and Emmeline Osborne. Her love of babies and children made her a wonderful grandmother.

She was a lifelong member of the Community of Christ, serving and sharing faithfully in the ministry of her Lord. She was ordained to the office of Priest in 2009 and then Elder in 2018. Her church community was like a second family.

Lucy leaves her husband, four surviving children, son-in-law, grandchildren, brother, sister, sisters-in-law, as well as many nephews, nieces, cousins and a great number of other relatives and much-loved friends.

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at the Lamoni Community of Christ. A luncheon followed. In lieu of flowers, plants or gifts, please consider a donation to the Bloomington Community of Christ or Harrison County Hospice in care of Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 46, Eagleville, MO 64442.

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