Baxter Ball '70

Baxter Ball '70, on February 13, 2011. The Dewitt, New York, man was sixty-four.

Baxter was a history major. He joined Delta Tau Delta. He later earned a master's degree at Bowling Green State University.

He was the former head of the upper school at the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, and at the time of his death in his sleep was the headmaster at Manlius Pebble Hill School in DeWitt, where he worked since 1990. He lived behind the school. Manlius Pebble Hill is a pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 independent school that embraces experiential learning and independent study.

"He was visionary, and he was a great believer in the potential of all kids," Manlius Pebble Hill spokeswoman Susan Gullo told the Post-Standard of Syracuse, New York. "He was a defender of kids, and he was their advocate." The newspaper said Baxter "made significant improvements" at the school, including the addition of a science building and humanities building. Enrollment expanded to about 600 from 200 and the endowment ballooned to $4.7 million from several thousand dollars after Baxter arrived. He also established a performing arts department and added Chinese language instruction.

Baxter loved American and European history and art. He enjoyed reading and was knowledgeable about antiques and collected antique glass and ceramics. He also collected school memorabilia and taught a course on the history of Manlius, which was founded in 1869.

In a statement, Manlius Pebble Hill described Baxter as beloved by students and faculty and as a champion of faculty. "Nothing delighted him more than seeing a fledgling teacher blossom into a master teacher," Gullo said.

The Canastota (New York) Bee-Journal, in a 1994 story, called him the "superman" of Manlius Pebble Hill.

He was also described as a proud father who was looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild. Baxter was survived by children Donald, Jonathan, and Rebecca.