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Lindquist Funeral Home

1 Mayberry Ln, Yarmouth, ME

OBITUARY

Eric Stoddard Baxter

January 4, 1953July 15, 2020

Gray, ME- Eric Stoddard Baxter completed his life circle in the early hours of July 15, 2020, surrounded by the love of his brother Scott, dear friends Donna Stearn and Peter Mazzaglia and his beloved partner in life and husband Lonnie Leeman. He was buoyed by the love the two shared. Cancer triumphed over his body but never his spirit. Eric was born January 3, 1953 to Hartley “Barney” and Jayne Stoddard Baxter; at the Togus Campus in Maine. He attended South Portland schools and graduated from Bowdoin in 1974. He then took a gap year and off to Europe he went. This gave him the travel bug that never left. When he returned to Maine, he went to work for AAA. He edited their magazine, lobbied for travel and safety, and through intellect and charm flourished. Eric took a break from AAA and worked for a Fortune 500 company with his offices in Manhattan and Rumford, Maine. A fortuitous shift in corporate culture led Eric back to the world of travel when in 1990 he became business partners with Steve Hewins and his wife, Kathy. Steve would become Eric’s dear friend in life. In 2007, AAA of Northern New England purchased Hewins Travel where Eric stayed until his retirement this spring. Eric was renowned for his knowledge and love of travel as well as his community involvement. Eric was mindful of his family’s legacy. He proceeded to do his part in his board work as family representative to the Baxter State Park Authority, Maine Historical Society, Olmstead Alliance, USM, MECA, and The Victoria Mansion to name a few. His desire to promote community led him to create a way for nonprofit organizations to build capital and connection though group travel. For over 15 years, Eric, with his trusty sidekick Lonnie, led tours for the Maine Historical Society to a variety of locales including the Baltics, the Nile, Alaska, and the Mekong River. Eric and Lonnie purchased their home after their commitment ceremony in August of 2001. On July 20, 2013, they married there. Their home is a sanctuary for them and their adored pups. They opened their home and hearts for gatherings to reminisce of travels accomplished, plan the next adventure and most importantly for all to connect to one another. For their friends, it was a place to gather in Eric’s exquisite gardens, savor fine food, and have wide-ranging conversations with an ever-changing cast of characters. His passing evoked many memories and descriptors from their wide range of friends. So many commented on that smile. Others spoke of his kindness and humor. Most spoke of the love. His response to “I love you” was “I love you more”. For the last several years, their winter retreat was Merida, Mexico where they created the same welcoming environment for new friends from the expat community, family, and friends from their many adventures. Eric was predeceased by Barney and Jayne. Lonnie and their pups, Yasmine and Czar will miss him every day. Also surviving are his brother, Scott Baxter and his nephew Griffin, of Manchester, NH, and cousins John R. Baxter, Connie Marlow, and Judy Baxter, and their children. He was loved and is deeply missed by his stepchildren, Meghan and Alex Grabau of Framingham, MA, and Patrick Carey and Elise Pelletier, of Portland, ME. He was absolutely besotted with his grandsons, Cyr and Julian Carey, who had many adventures with Grandpas Eric and Lonnie, including a trip to Mexico last February. And, there is his out-law, Meg Baxter of Cape Elizabeth, ME. Due to the pandemic, a celebration of his well-lived life that ended too soon will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Maine Historical Society or The Greater Portland Animal Refuge League.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Eric Stoddard Baxter

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Sarah Woodard

July 30, 2020

Lonnie, I just learned the news and my heart breaks for you. I know how much you adored Eric and how much you were adored. It was obvious to anyone who knew you. Sending you love and peace now and in the difficult days ahead.

Elaine Bayer

July 26, 2020

Eric (Boing Boing) ,We had fun didn't we? Love you. Elaine (Woome)

Mary Harbison

July 26, 2020

The 3 of us, every Sunday after yoga, brunching and giggling over how the eggs should be set. My yoga mates, always curious to hear where we were headed. Ok, 1 more. There will be more.........miss you so much, EB, and love you to the moon and back.

Lori Smith

July 26, 2020

I didn't really know Eric but I've seen and heard the stories of him. I know he was an awesome person.. RIP Eric... Love never dies

Shelley Dunn

July 26, 2020

I was so sorry to learn of Eric’s passing in the paper today and want to send my condolences to his husband and family. When I entered into the field of public relations in the early 1980’s, I met Eric through the Maine Public Relations Council And we worked together as officers in that organization. We became friends during that time as well as professional colleagues. I looked to him for advice and he was a big help to me.
Though I hadn’t seen him in decades, I will remember his smile, his intellect, and his wonderful sense of humor.

Ann Worster

July 26, 2020

"And the greatest of these is love."

Marsya Ancker

July 26, 2020

Eric's warm & loving nature, and his witty humor, were some of his most defining characteristics. I first met him at the home he & Lonnie purchased after their commitment ceremony in 2001. I was already in Lonnie's heart, so Eric opened his & welcomed me in. Some of my favorite memories of Christmases recently passed are from the 2 or 3 years when I spent Christmas Eve & Day with Eric & Lonnie before going to see my family. I think this has also lead to some of my Dad's favorite recent Christmas memories as, that first year on Christmas day, Eric taught me how to make lobster quiche. After we picked the meat from many lobsters (we discovered that 5 1lb lobsters = 1lb lobster meat), Eric pulled out his trusty America's Test Kitchen Cookbook, some sherry, Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base, and eggs from chickens that Lonnie had fed on lobster bodies, and a masterpiece was made (several, in fact). These quiches are so good that one serves two people (if you really like the other person), and a freezer full of lobster quiche has since become a traditional Christmas gift from me to my Dad <3 (He called me in June to tell me he was having a piece for dinner.)
Eric's warmth will be forever missed. The love, joy & memories he created will be forever felt.

Jensen Bissell

July 22, 2020

As a former Director of Baxter State Park, I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Eric Baxter. During my tenure Eric was always ready to speak on behalf of Baxter State Park. In similarity to all the Baxter family members I have had the privilege to know, Eric was immensely proud of his family's visionary contributions and gifts to the People of the State of Maine. Also in keeping with the Baxter family, Eric always stood ready to speak for and defend, Percival Baxter's vision for Baxter State Park. When he spoke he knew the weight he carried, and his words were articulate, informative, intrepid and always, always from his heart. Thank you Eric, Percival would be proud.

Stephen Farrand

July 22, 2020

Eric was one of the world's consummate gentlemen; it was an integral and natural part of who he was. I am very fortunate to have known him. Nancy and I send out our love to Lonnie and the other members of Eric's family.

VINCENT DiCara

July 17, 2020

Knew Eric as a Bowdoin Grad and through his work at AAA. Last saw him in Merida, Mexico a little more than one year ago. Sorry that he has left us.

FROM THE FAMILY