Obituary of Beth Baxter
Mary Elizabeth McCabe was
born December 19, 1948 to John Anthony McCabe and Margaret
McGovern McCabe in Akron, Ohio.
John was a Secretary with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) and Margaret was a homemaker. Mary Beth, as her family called her, was an only child. The family moved into a modest house in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Since John had worked for the B&O Railroad, the family got a discount for travel by train, so they regularly visited relatives around the country. John died when Mary Beth was five years old. Margaret then became a Bookkeeper/Secretary to support the family. After some time, Margaret suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, which gradually worsened. Mary Beth gradually took more and more care of her mother. At fifteen years old, Mary Beth got a driver's license and drove her mother to her doctor appointments, and to other places that they needed to go. Margaret died when Mary Beth was sixteen. After that she stayed with relatives for a while, until she lived with her aunt Genevieve and her uncle Dan in New Jersey.
She went to the College of St. Elizabeth, an all women school at the time, for a year. Shortly thereafter Mary Beth transferred to Fordham University, majored in English, with a minor in Languages. She played the piano quite well. She spent her Junior year abroad in Alsace–Lorraine (now "Alsace–Moselle") which was a part of France next to Germany. After college, she worked for a Personnel Firm and after that, as a Bookkeeper, in the Washington Heights/Inwood section of Manhattan. She developed an interest in local politics, and she acted in Community Theatre, and was considered quite good. She lived in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan. While working as a Bookkeeper, she was attracted to the idea of working for the Federal Government. So she took the Federal Government PACE test and scored well. The Social Security Administration decided to interview her, and they hired her sometime around September, 1974 as a Claims Representative (CR). Mary Beth had the desire to help people, to help make a difference in people's lives. This desire to help people lasted her whole career.
She met Paul Baxter, who had a temporary appointment as a Social Security Claims Representative (Trainee) some time around October 1975, through a mutual friend. Paul later got a permanent job with the US Customs Service in lower Manhattan. In September, 1980, Mary Beth (now Beth), married Paul. They lived in Riverdale, in the Bronx, and in February 1982 bought a house in Yorktown Heights, NY, where her cousin Charlie McIlvenny lived. Beth got her Master's in Business Administration at Pace University (Westchester County, NY), and graduated with honors. Paul had gotten a big promotion at the US Customs Service, and sometime after that he got his Master's in Public Administration at New York University. Beth had been an Operations Supervisor in the Peekskill Branch Office. They had two baby girls, Katie (1988) and Elizabeth (1990). Shortly after Katie was born, Beth resigned from Social Security, to be a full-time mother. In August, 1996, Paul's job got moved to Washington, DC, so the family moved to Herndon, VA. Beth was active in the girls’ schools, and taught a variety of topics, such as art, crafting, and French language after school to other young students. She was active in the Parent Teacher Organizations, and very much enjoyed being able to spend time with her daughters in their early years. She did quite a bit of volunteer work, including being a girl scout troop leader, and was a co-founder of the Mother’s Connection Group, and a theater costume tailor.
When the girls were old enough, Beth took part time jobs. Finally she was hired back at Social Security, at about 2004, as a CR, then as a Technical Expert, then as an Operations Supervisor, then promoted as an Assistant Manager, all at different office locations. Finally, Beth got a transfer as an Administrative Assistant to the Area Director's office in Tysons Corner, which was close to her home. Beth retired in July 1, 2020, with 30 years of Federal Service. She was well-respected, did a good job, and she was liked and appreciated. At about 2011 - 2012, the family started traveling to many different countries. Some of these countries were first visited by their daughters, in pursuit of higher education or for job experience. So Beth and Paul traveled to where their daughters went, and they met their daughters in several foreign countries. Other family trips abroad were for their vacation.
Beth enjoyed gardening, making crafts, baking bread and biscuits, cooking, drinking wine, reading books, and doing puzzles on her iPad, coloring pictures, and keeping her mind sharp by playing word games on her iPad. She enjoyed entertaining family and friends, and traveling to new places. She liked to travel to see old friends and relatives, as well.She liked Hallmark Romance movies and books, mysteries, comedies, and science fiction, and Sword and Sorcery shows. She would often brush up on her French, before we went to a French-speaking country, such as Morocco. She liked keeping in touch with relatives. Beth was a deeply caring Mother and a Spouse who set a good example for those she met. We are sure of her love for us.
Beth suffered an unexpected Hemmoraghic stroke on 11:00pm on Thursday, Jan. 26. She passed peacefully, at 74, surrounded by her family, at the Reston Hospital Center, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at 4:33am on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023.
Her's was a life well-led!
Beth is survived by her spouse, Paul, her two daughters, Katie and Elizabeth, and Paul's twin sister, Gabrielle.