With Heavy Hearts - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

With Heavy Hearts

Eli Baxter, Wilderness North guideHe was a man that seemed bigger than life. Eli Baxter, our dear friend and chief guide at Makokibatan Lodge passed away this past week from complications associated with surgery to replace his knees.  He was 89 years of age.

He lived his life in the Ojibway traditional way.  During his youth, his family lived in a 13 x 14 foot cabin, even in the cold Ontario winters while he worked his trap lines on Washi Lake. His father taught him to make snow shoes from birch saplings and moose sinews. In addition to his professional guiding for us, he was involved in First Nation Reserve political leadership in Marten Falls and Fort Hope.

We have a podcast interview with Eli’s son, Robert, recorded in February of 2010, just after  Eli’s 87th birthday…click here to listen.

We are gathering your condolences and fond memories for a booklet we will prepare for the family.  Just e-mail them to us and we will include them in our booklet. We will remember and miss him.  His was a well-lived and honourable life.

Rest in Peace, Eli.
Alan Cheeseman

Eli’s Obituary:

Eli Baxter, Makokibatan 2009Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Eli George Baxter (January 27, 1923 – May 15, 2012)
 At 89 years of age, Eli Baxter resident of Geraldton, Ontario passed away in Thunder Bay on May 15, 2012 at 7:30am. Predeceased by his wife Florence V. Baxter (nee Ritch); parents George and Josephine (Iserhoff); brothers John, Gilbert, David; sister Emily Ferris; sons Walter, Donald and 3 boys at infancy. Eli is survived by his sisters Charlotte (the late Chistopher Ritch), Pearl (Eric Bergman), Mina (the late Joe Bergman). He is also survived by his children Bobby (wife Lynn), Harry (wife Irene), Grace (husband John), Annie, Charlotte, Norman (partner Christine), Mae, Lindy (partner Debbie) and Ralph (partner Yvonne). Eli lived his days on Makokibatan Lake and surrounding rivers, living off the land his whole life!

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