Stephen Baxter

For anyone who was unable to attend Stephen Baxter’s Funeral Please click the image above to enlarge it…
Please click this link, and you can watch the full funeral service on YouTube:
Stephen Baxter: 7th February 1959 – 4th November 2022

Picture Slideshow that was shown during the service.

Here also is the Eulogy:

Stephen was born on 7th February 1959 to David and Martha Baxter. Farmers in Ballyboley, near Larne in Northern Ireland. He was the eldest of the family, with a sister Mary, and brothers James and the late Samuel.

He attended schools in Northern Ireland, before the family moved to Scotland on 7th February 1980, which was Stephens 21st Birthday.

As dairy farmers Stephen worked on the family farm and attended to the milking herd and other farming activities. Although a busy man, he always managed an attendance to the church, first and foremost as a Christian, having come to faith as a teenager, when he attended Gospel meetings held by Cecil Stewart. He was also always on the lookout for a wife and soulmate which he found in his wife-to-be Ruth, who had moved to Stranraer.  They were introduced to each other at local Faith Mission meetings and Stephen responded to her plea for help to install a radio in her new car.  They fell in love at the annual New Year’s Eve church party in 1981.  This was a whirlwind romance, and Stephen proclaimed from the first week, that she was the one for him and he was sure of it. They became engaged in March 1982 and tied the knot in October 1982, at Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church, N. Ireland. They went on to enjoy many adventures together, including an around the world trip in 1986, travelling to Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, Sydney, and Fiji as well as spending a month in  New Zealand where Ruth had lived for some of her younger years.

Stephen and Ruth started a family when Matthew came along in 1990, followed by Joanna in 1993 and their family was complete. Every summer, they attended the Carberry Christian Festival, outside Edinburgh for 21 years. When it ceased, they attended other Christian holiday events such as Keswick Convention, Clan Gathering and Refuel.

Stephen was a devoted Christian and a deacon in the Baptist Church we are in today. This church and this very building were a part of his life as he toiled for years with others, to create a church from a Territorial Army Hall. Stephen realised early on that a modern church needed a modern approach to Audio Visual and that was his speciality, which he installed and operated every Sunday.

Unfortunate family circumstances meant the dairy herd had eventually been sold and Stephen and James had split the business between them. They were both now employed off farm with Stephen working for Scottish Power as a Metering Engineer.  Weekends were often taken up working as a Videographer making videos of weddings first of all for local photographer Ken Pearson, and then word of mouth bookings. He did this for more than 20 years.

Stephen worked for Scottish Power for 13 years until James who was just starting to build his poultry business asked Stephen if he would like to do the electrical work in his poultry sheds. That was right up his street, and as they say, the rest is history. Now, 12 years later, he was still part of the team on the farm enjoying the same job.

In recent years Stephen purchased a motor home so the family could enjoy Scotland on a leisurely basis. He always liked a bargain, so he was also excited when he got his bus-pass. He was then able to park the motorhome on a site and travel free on the buses.

One of the things important in life to Stephen was the after-lunch nap. This was not an option; it was an essential part of life. He had perfected the art of the catnap which happened after lunchtime every day. Lunch of course always had to include one of life’s essentials- tattie scones, and he also tried to include baked beans with every dinner! For those attending for refreshments later, there is a special homage to Stephen – tattie scones and baked bean pies!

James tells of how even when harvesting silage, where Stephen was the chopper man, James would often arrive back for the next trailer load of grass to find Stephen having his essential 10-minute snooze in the tractor, to re-charge his battery for the rest of the day.

As Covid gripped the country and the NHS, Stephen unfortunately found he had developed health issues, and the devastating diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer was delivered to him last November.

Sadly, the disease was too far established for any surgery. Chemotherapy was administered to delay the condition, which he battled every day to the end, which came peacefully on Friday 4th November.