Frederick Paul Baxendale

April 10, 1949September 30, 2021
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Frederick Baxendale April 10, 1949 - September 30, 2021

Frederick “Fred” Paul Baxendale, 72, of Lincoln, passed away Thursday, September 30, 2021. He was born on April 10, 1949 to Ralph and Inez (Thrasher) Baxendale in Rochester, NY. After graduating from Williamson Central high school, he entered the United States Air Force in which he served in from 1969-1973.

Fred is survived by his children; Heather and husband Brian Bohling and Michael Baxendale along with their mother Linda Hill; Michael Brazington, Steven Stump, and Kaylee Baxendale along their mother Joan Baxendale; grandchildren; Michaela, Colby, Tristan, Sascha, Sophie, Austin, Tyler, Madison, and Olivia; great grandchildren, Zoey, Kieran, Zyllis, Thomas, and Evelyn; his brother William and wife Elizabeth; and nephew, Thomas Baxendale.

Family was one of the most important parts in Fred’s life. He loved teaching his children and grandchildren all about “nature’s wonderous pageantry”. He supported all things Nebraska especially football Saturdays. Afternoon bike rides, nature walks, and cheering on his grandchildren were some of his favorite activities. Fred was a renaissance man; passionate about insects, an avid follower of the weather, and a birdwatcher. He was an enthusiastic gardener, raising flowers, fruits and vegetables in his large gardens. As a beekeeper, he produced wonderful honey. Fred also held a pilot’s license for small aircrafts. He was known for his expertise at the barbeque grill, including his wonderful barbequed chicken.

Fred was an internationally known expert on turf insects. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1983, majoring in Entomology. Fred was a member of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Department of Entomology from 1984 until he retired in 2018 as Professor Emeritus, after 33 years of service. He was the mentor for many graduate students at UNL.

Fred received many awards for community service and service to the profession, including being named an Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America. He served as President of ESA's North Central Branch. His accomplishments were recognized by a variety of professional groups, and he was honored with the ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, the NCB Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension, the Excellence in Extension Award - North Central Region, the ESA Recognition Award in Urban Entomology, the Extension Award of Merit, and many others. He was the author of many scientific papers. In Nebraska he was well known as a member of the Backyard Farmer panel on PBS and was a popular presenter at many events such as Bug Bash and the Spring Creek Audubon Center’s Twilight in the Tall Grass celebration in Denton Nebraska.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Fred’s memory may be given to Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center or The Lincoln Children’s Zoo.


  • Spring Creek Praire Auduborn Center
  • The Lincoln Children's Zoo


  • Celebration of Life

    Thursday, October 7, 2021


Frederick Paul Baxendale

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jason St Sauver

October 7, 2021

From all of us at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center - our love and thoughts go to the family. We loved having Fred join us for many events on the prairie for so many years - sharing his passion with kids and adults of all ages and getting them just as excited as we were about insects and nature and more.
We miss you, Fred, but were SO lucky to be able to count you as a partner and friend.

Jenna Goodrich

October 7, 2021

I have a few favorite memories of my Uncle Fred. One of them is of him teaching me how to Ballroom Dance. Looking me in the eye, saying to me, "stand on my feet". Smiling all the while at me.

Paul Robbins

October 5, 2021

I met Fred through his turf connections with Dr. Mike Villani at Cornell University. Always enthusiastic, always helpful, always a great sense of humor! Fred was so very encouraging to me as I began my Ph.D. studies at Cornell that resulted in the Great Phyllophaga Pheromone Survey............."More beetles!", Fred would say. Thank you Fred for believing in me when many thought it could not be done..........I will always be grateful.

Travis Prochaska

October 5, 2021

Dr. Baxendale wasn’t just a teacher. He wasn’t just a friend - he was family. I have so many memories of him within the department. I’m not sure I can pick just one. But if I did - it was our connection to racing. He and I always enjoyed trips down to Kansas Speedway. We each had our own groups that we traveled with. With that being said - he always had the ability to know when I was arriving. I’m not sure there was ever an event there where I was in attendance where he didn’t find me within the first 5 minutes of arrival. He first wanted to make sure my friends and I got there safely. Then he would spill all the info on the must see exhibits in the fairway. We always had to share our coolest photos with one another. The one time I wasn’t able to go - he found me an amazing souvenir. To this day - it hangs in my office. As I’ve said a few times. He made you family. I’ll never be able to say thanks enough for everything has done for me.

Mike Merchant

October 5, 2021

Fred was the first to greet me when visiting Texas A&M prior to my coming as a new grad student. He gave freely of information and advice, and was the perfect guide and host. Since then, over the years, I had a number of times to visit with Fred, always learning something new and impressed with his ent-thusiasm. What a great colleague and person! Condolences to the extended Baxendale family and to his colleagues at UN.

Robert Roselle

October 5, 2021

Here's my condolences on the passing of Fred. He was much too young for his life to end. He was always nice and friendly and had a great memory for everything. I enjoyed working with Fred on turf research in Entomology and interacting with him at extension activities like Bug Bash and Bug Fest. He did a great job in helping people answer their questions on Backyard Farmer.

Jim Kalisch

October 4, 2021

I’m so saddened by news of Fred’s death. He was a treasured supervisor and colleague I much respected. He was always an advocate for my professional growth.

I thought Fred’s retirement would be a long and productive one for him because of his energy and inquisitive outlook on life. He had much to offer to others, and I feel he was cheated by Alzheimer’s! None of us know how long we have.

I would often work with Fred on surveys, field trials in turfgrass and in Extension conferences and activities. I admired his enthusiasm and intelligence for topics in entomology but also the natural sciences. He was consistently gregarious and liked by many colleagues in other fields. Many times over the years I would walk with him in various landscapes, and keen-eyed Fred was always the first to notice the insects and other arthropods. Oh, well!

Fred was also daring with handling insects and spiders. One time on a buffalograss survey in western Nebraska, we chanced upon an old badger hole with a large black widow dangling at its entrance. Fred instantly reached in the webbing to secure the prize without much protection. Another time, he extracted European corn borers from corn ears and promptly chewed them up! “Tastes like corn.”, he said. My favorite memory was when on the Backyard Farmer program he was holding a live Chinese preying mantid which pierced his finger with its front spur and drew blood. Fred just kept on talking about mantids without even flinching.

I’ll always remember him as “surfing” on the threshold of excitability and passion.

You are now in the hands of our God who brought you into this world to display your contagious excitement about the “wondrous pageantry of Nature”, and you certainly did! Sorry that I am out of town and cannot attend your memorial service.

Diana Sanderson

October 3, 2021

My heart breaks on hearing of Fred's passing. He was a good friend and our best man in 1991. Newel was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 2 years before Fred and they enjoyed getting together for lunches. It was a huge loss for Fred when Newel passed away in 2018. Mollie George with the Alzheimer's Association and I took Fred to lunch several times. He was such a special person and will be missed by many. I have thought of him often these last couple months and regret not seeing him after Covid was gone.

Steven Stump

October 2, 2021

Fred was so excited to make a skydive with me. He came out to Make a Tandem Skydive and we had a blast. The following year he came and we did it again and we had a friend of mine with cameras on his helmet video tape it and take pictures. When the family rallied behind me in a show of solidarity in my fight against cancer everyone got a “matching” tattoo. Including to my surprise Fred! His first and only tattoo. A skydiver flying through a bell landing a parachute. The actual bell was on our deck forever. And it would ring during family gatherings to bring everyone in at supper time.


Family Tattoo Bell with Skydiving Canopy




Best of Friends


Served in Air Weather Service Air Force