Dale Baxter


Dale Baxter

Oct. 26, 1947 – Oct. 27, 2021

Dale Baxter, a longtime member of the Basin Police Department whose love for the outdoors was matched only by his love for Cheryle, his wife of 50 years, passed away on Oct. 27, 2021. He was 74 years old. 

Dale Baxter was born on Oct. 26, 1947, the first child of Mitsuko and Orville Baxter, who met in Japan in the aftermath of World War II. Within a year, the young family relocated to the United States, and Dale soon became the big brother to siblings Ruby, Judy, Dan, Carol, Mary and a sister who was stillborn. 

While a high school sophomore in Forest Lake, Minn., Dale attended a party with the Coon Lake Covenant youth group when he saw Cheryle Matheson across the room. More than 50 years later, he said he "knew she was the one," but the two didn't start dating until their senior year. After graduating from Forest Lake High School in June 1967, he proposed to his love in December, only to be congratulated the very next day with a draft notice from the U.S. Army. 

Dale and Cheryle married on Oct. 5, 1968, in an eventful ceremony (they would often laugh and tell the story of their groomsman who passed out during the vows) and then departed for Savannah, Georgia, where Dale began his military service. 

Dale spent one year, from 1969-1970, in Korea with the U.S. Army military police before returning home to Minnesota and starting a family. Dan was born in May 1971, Rae followed in June 1974, and Kim was adopted from Korea in 1979. 

In 1982, Dale took a trip to Wyoming to go hunting with Uncle Gary Stenlund, and he fell in love with the state. He returned and declared that the family was moving to Wyoming. In March, the family packed up and headed 1,000 miles west to Basin. He began a job as a police officer, which he held until he retired from the department about 20 years later. 

Dale enjoyed being a small-town officer, especially whenever he could interact with the youth in the area, but his bigger passions were his hobbies and volunteer opportunities. He was an active member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Greybull, Wyo. He taught self-defense classes to women and in the schools. He was a member of the Big Horn County Search & Rescue squad. He was also an avid gun enthusiast, big-game hunter and fisherman, the exploits of which he meticulously documented in a "brag book." 

After retiring from Basin PD in the early 2000s, Dale took on a handful of "retirement" jobs that kept him busy. He was a security guard at Buffalo Bill Museum, where he could wow tourists with his knowledge of the gun collection there. He worked in the oil fields, monitoring and maintaining the derricks. But his favorite was the several summers spent as the campground manager at Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site in Hyattville. 

Dale was known for his big laugh and smile, his selflessness and unquestioning generosity, and his devotion to those — family or friends — around him. He is survived by his three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His love, Cheryle, passed away on Nov. 12, 2018, just after their 50th wedding anniversary. 

Dale Baxter will be laid to rest alongside Cheryle in Victor Hill Cemetery in Linwood, Minn. Cremation and funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.