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Obituary: R. Stanley Baxley

R. Stanley Baxley of Merritt Island, FL went to be with the Lord on Saturday, August 16, 2014. His loving wife of 69 years, Juanita Ezell Baxley, preceded him in death on April 13, 2014. Stanley was born in Hilda, SC on February 15, 1925 to Bernice and Eureka Baxley who also preceded him in death.

He is survived by one son, Wayne S. Baxley, Granite Bay, CA; one daughter, Bonnie Hope (Tom) Gonzalez, Roseville, CA; two grandsons, David (Jennene) Baxley, Benjamin (Stephanie) Gonzalez; two granddaughters; Nissa Baxley Hopkins and Yonah Enita Gonzalez; three great granddaughters; one great grandson, and a brother, Vernon (Dixie) Baxley.

As a teenager, Stanley’s parents permitted him to move to Cherry Lake, FL to live with his Uncle John and Aunt Gracia Collins. The school he was to attend had burned, and he did not want to go to the school selected for the students. He helped his uncle and aunt on their farm, and drove the car so his uncle could fulfill his role as a pastor and revival preacher as his uncle was experiencing health issues. He remained in Cherry Lake graduating from Madison High School.

Stanley worked with T. J. Beggs Company in both the department store and the funeral business from the mid 1940’s until the late 1950’s. In 1959 Stanley, Juanita and their children moved to Cocoa, FL where Stanley continued to pursue his career as a mortician working with Wylie Funeral Home. In 1960 the family moved to Dallas, TX where Stanley attended Dallas Mortuary College graduating in August 1961. After returning to Cocoa, Stanley became a partner in the Wylie Funeral business expanding their business to four Wylie-Baxley Funeral Homes in Brevard County. Stanley “retired” in 2000 continuing to work part time until April 2014. His career spanned some 70 years.

Stanley was an active 33rd degree Mason holding plural membership in Madison, FL and Merritt Island, FL. He was a Past Master and Instructor mentoring many younger Masons. He is credited with starting the Merritt Island Masonic Lodge.

Stanley was a devout Christian serving as an active deacon in Madison First Baptist Church and Cocoa First Baptist Church. He was active in the Gideon ministry in Cocoa as well as a number of other organizations including the Kiwanis Club of Merritt Island.

Stanley’s career as a mortician was also one of his ministries. He is remembered for his commitment to presenting the plan of salvation to the lost; funerals were one avenue through which he could accomplish this.

A gentle, soft spoken and kind man, Stanley is known for his deep, abiding love for his wife, Juanita, her family, and their children and grandchildren. Stanley was blessed with many friends who will miss him immensely; one of his dearest friends being Pastor Vick Jungkurth who was with him daily for weeks as he made his final journey on this earth.

As Stanley met our Lord and Savior face to face, and was reunited with a heavenly host of family and friends, we can better appreciate Psalm 116:15.

Services: Visitation; Thursday 5 – 8 pm at Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home, Merritt Island, FL Funeral; Saturday 3 pm at Cocoa First Baptist Church, Cocoa, FL Graveside; Monday 11 am at Lee First Baptist Cemetery, Lee, FL

John Bullard



The Madison News

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