Minerva N. Baxley known to some as Minnie passed away on Friday, April 9, 2021, at the age of one hundred and one. Minnie was one of ten children born in Wilmington, North Carolina where she grew up. She met her future husband, John Baxley, at a USO dance, prior to the start of the war with Japan. She and John raised two daughters in Brooklyn, New York and later moved to California to be near their daughters and grandchildren.
From the time Minnie was a little girl attending grade school in Wilmington, she understood the value of an education and wanted desperately to obtain a college degree. She was able to fulfill that dream much later in life after helping her husband obtain his professional license, and seeing her daughters graduate from college. Minnie had an inquisitive mind, was a gifted student and an avid reader. So, at the young age of sixty-five she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal State Hayward. Throughout her life and well into her years as a senior citizen, she remained interested in current events, other cultures and her own family history.
Although qualified to be a teacher, Minnie sought and obtained a position as a Teacher’s Assistant, teaching reading to adults in Berkeley, California and fifth graders in Oakland. She was gratified to have helped some adults gain enough confidence to seek more challenging employment and to inspire in eleven and twelve year olds, joy in reading.
Minnie possessed a quick wit, a generous heart, loved the outdoors and reciting poetry. Minnie often astonished her daughters and their friends with the memory she possessed of poems learned in elementary and high school. They would listen in silence, mesmerized by the expression and tone of her voice she used while reciting poetry.
Throughout her childhood and adulthood, Minnie had extremely poor vision. She lost her sight completely when her husband died in 1998, yet she maintained her love of learning and recitation of poetry from memory, up until a week before her death.
She had a sense of humor; an ability to readily put people at ease by welcoming them into her home and her heart. Minnie leaves behind: her daughters, Helen and Ruth; grandsons, Stephen, Scott and Seth; great-grandchildren, Haley, Jesse John, Cameron and Jameson; several beloved nieces, nephews and many who admired and loved her. She will be missed.
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