Condolences to the Baxter family.

The ISHL wishes to offer condolences to the Ward Baxter Family.

Ward Baxter, age 64, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Saturday December 30, 2023. Born on October 22, 1959, Ward was the beloved son of the late Robert and Constance Baxter. Born and raised in Rockford, IL, Ward was a graduate of Harlem High School class of 1977. He was an avid water-skier, having skied professionally in his younger years. While skiing at Marine World in California he met his beautiful wife, Jackie, of over 34 years. Together they raised their family of three boys, Tyler, Cameron, and Garrett in Machesney/Loves Park. Ward continued his love of show skiing through volunteering with the Loves Park Ski Broncs spanning over 25 years where he and his family participated in all acts. Ward loved people – he had a unique gift to talk to literally anyone which made him a successful salesman in Real Estate. In 2016, Ward and his family made the move to League City, Texas where, during this time, he transitioned to selling boats at Texas Sportfishing Yacht Sales with his son, Tyler. Above all else Ward was a family man. He loved watching all his boys play sports, planning vacations, and keeping traditions. Nothing meant more to him than family – which included his beloved Grandson and best nap buddy, Bentley. Ward worked hard and loved the life he and his wife Jackie built together with their best girl, Stella. 
Although our family would have never been ready to say goodbye – Ward did have many happy memories in his final months including watching his son Cameron’s Naval Graduation, his Grandson’s first birthday and first steps and watching his youngest son Garrett do what he loves - playing hockey for Tahoe Hockey Academy. He was an honest, good man who will be deeply missed by so many.
Ward is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Constance Baxter, and his brother, Wade Baxter. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline Baxter, his children Tyler (Stephanie) Baxter, Cameron (Courtney) Baxter, and Garrett Baxter; grandson Bentley Baxter; sisters Wanda (Alan) Cwiklo and Cookie (Ben) Taylor; numerous nieces and nephews, Jerel (Shelley) Folts, Zach (Tiffani) Blackwell, Zared Folts, Molly Cwiklo and Madeline Cwiklo, Annabeth (Josh) Hazlewood and Estee (Tyler) Sneed; and many lifelong friends.


A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2024; visitation at 5:00 pm and service at 6:00 pm at the Dominion Church in Dickinson, TX. 

An additional service and celebration of life will be held in Machesney Park, IL at GPS Church on Saturday, February 17, 2024.