Jane Claflin Baxter, 90, special education teacher

Jane Claflin Baxter died December 3, 2012, just two weeks short of her 91st birthday, of natural causes at Oak Hammock, Gainesville, Florida.  She was born Mary Jane Claflin in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on December 14, 1921, to Billie and Doc Claflin.

Jane Claflin Baxter, formerly of Katonah, died on Dec. 3. She was 90.

When Jane was 9 she settled with her parents in Barron, Wisconsin, where she attended junior and high school.   Jane graduated from Hamline College in Minneapolis with a two-year degree and then the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a BS in Economics in 1943.  She moved to Chicago where she worked for IBM, and later volunteered for the American Red Cross in Hawaii during World War II.

She returned to Chicago, worked again for IBM, and met and married Frederick Albert Baxter on September 13, 1947.  The couple moved to the New York City area and eventually settled in Katonah, New York, where they raised their three children.  Jane was active in civic affairs, especially the Katonah Village Improvement Society, and served in several capacities at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Kisco.  She decided to embark on a career in teaching children with developmental disabilities, and graduated from Western Connecticut State College in Danbury with a Masters Degree in Special Education.  She worked for ten years as a Special Education teacher for the New York State Board Of Cooperative Education Services in the Northern Westchester area.

In 1985 she and Fred became snowbirds, adding a home in Ocala, Florida. In retirement, Jane traveled extensively, played her beloved Bridge, and became a better golfer.  In 2004 she moved into the Oak Hammock, continuing care retirement facility in Gainesville, where she maintained an active, engaged life, making many new friends.

Jane is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren:  Susan, husband David Sturdevant (Lissa and Blythe); Jeffrey, wife Gaylen (Charlotte, Allie, and Jordan); and Jonathan, wife Maggie (Nicholas and Emilie).  She was predeceased by her husband Fred in 1991.

Contributions in memory of Jane Baxter may be given to St. Marks Church of Mt. Kisco, The Katonah Village Improvement Society, the University of Wisconsin, or a charity of your choice.  A date for the memorial at St. Marks will be announced at a later time.

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