Verlin Baxter

Verlin Johnson Baxter 91 , known as “Johnny” to her friends and family passed away at her daughter’s home  with her daughters at her side on Saturday April 27, 2013. Johnny was born on May 22, 1921 in Storm Lake Iowa to Esther and Wilber Johnson.

Johnny attended Storm Lake High School, Buena Vista College and graduated from the University of Iowa-Ames in 1944 with a B.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition. She worked as the dietician at Cook County Hospital in Chicago following her internship and graduation.  Johnny was married to Dr. Robert Corwin Baxter, D.D.S. on December 12, 1944. The couple later moved to Keokuk, Iowa to establish a dental practice and she was the dietician at Keosauqua Hospital in Van Buren County IA. In 1967 she moved to Jefferson City, Missouri to be an Administrative Assistant at Memorial Hospital in charge of the dietary and housekeeping departments. Previous employees of Memorial Hospital fondly remember her for the elaborate staff Christmas parties that she would plan and host.  Following her retirement from Memorial in 1980 she worked at the Missouri Division of Health as a hospital surveyor. She retired from the State of Missouri in 1993.

Johnny loved being outdoors and spent many hours tending the woodland garden that she created in her back yard. The beautiful garden and the “fairy paths” she created were a play place for her grandchildren and they spent many hours with her there. She was an avid china painter and belonged to the Jefferson City China Painters Club.   She will be best remembered by family and friends for her dedication to family, her artistic gifts in visual and performing arts, the beautiful gardens she created, her incredible talent in china painting, her culinary ability and the special meals she created to share with others.

She is survived by her daughters, Sandra Miller and husband Steve Miller of Grass Valley, CA, Meg Kocher and husband Bill Kocher of Holts Summit, MO and Sarah Wilding and husband Doug Wilding of Jefferson City. Johnny had 11 grandchildren, Jennifer Thomas, Eric Howser, Michael Wilkens, Scott Howser, Brian Miller, Jason Kocher, Adam Howser, Joe Kocher, Chelsea Wilding, Rebecca Wilding and Mallory Wilding and  also 11 great-grandchildren She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Dr. Wilber E. Johnson and daughter Katherine Howser.

A private family celebration of life is planned as directed by Johnny. Memorials are suggested to Hospice Compassus or the American Cancer Society.


  1. Jim and Terry Allan on May 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Hello Baxter Family,
    I was sad to read of your Mother’s passing this morning.
    As a neighbor, I always enjoyed seeing her in the front tending her “garden”. I also enjoyed seeing cars parked there with people (big and little) running in and out. There’s just NOTHING LIKE being loved. She always looked so “fit” and classy….even yard tending!
    You invested in her. From the obituary she obviously invested in you. To have lived and laughed together means you will have fond memories to treasure…but life will never be quite the same now.
    Please accept our sympathy.
    God’s blessing of peace and comfort be yours as you mourn and carry on.
    Jim and Terry Allan

  2. Karen Myers on May 2, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Sara, Doug and girls-I am sorry for you loss. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sara, your mom was a wonderful lady. May the Lord be with you during this time of sorrow.
    Karen Myers

  3. Harold F. Krieger, Jr. on May 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Sandra, Meg, Sarah and Families,
    Many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Johnny when she came into the accounting firm to have her taxes prepared. Never in my many years of business have I ever met anyone as well organized as Johnny.
    Hanging on the wall of my office, there are seven plates that she has painted for me over the years. Some are dated back in the 1970’s. Each one is so beautiful, and is signed by Johnny, and I look forward to passing these down to my family later on in life. She was such a talented individual.
    She will be sadly missed, she always had a great smile, she was always wonderful to work with, and we here at Krieger & Krieger will always remember her and the wonderful times we spent with her. Our deepest sympathies to each one of you.
    Harold F. Krieger, Jr – CEO
    Jeff F. Krieger – President
    Krieger & Krieger Staff

  4. susan henderson on May 3, 2013 at 7:30 am

    sorry to hear of johnnys passing
    my mohter worked for her for years
    joyce hederson. i have many of her beautiful cups and plates.
    my mom thought the world of her
    i lost my mom in sept and sure they are catching up now
    gold bless
    susan hederson

  5. Donna Medlin on May 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I worked and traveled with Johnny at the Dept of Health. Johnny will be remembered for sense of fun, love of family and joy in living each day. She was a mentor and role model to many of us. May the good memories and God’s love comfort you.

  6. Beth Howser on May 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Eric, Scott and Adam, and the rest of your family, so sad to read of your grandmas passing. She was a funny, talented, wonderful person and I wanted to be like her. You will miss her, but know she is with your mom.

  7. Ilona, Thompson-Johnson on December 8, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Today’s date is December 8, 2023. By accident I was going through the obituaries looking for someone and ran across Johnny’s obituary. I also work for Johnny along with Joyce Henderson, and many others. Some of you have state of her China paintings. I also process two of her plates and they’re signed by her. She was a wonderful person to work for. I have often wondered what happened to her after I left the hospital. My most heartfelt condolences to her entire family. I loved her dearly.

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