Marilynn Ruth Baxter, Ph.D., 81, of Rockford, IL, formally of Kewanee, IL, died at 4:34 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2018 at her home in Rockford.

Marilynn was born June 28, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois the daughter of George Byron and Ruth Quinn (Hurd) Baxter. She attended the State University of Iowa in Ames and graduated in 1958; she then did post-graduate work at University of Edinburgh in 1960 and the School of Actors Company in NYC in 1963; She received her MA from University of Wisconsin in 1965 and her PhD in 1973; She did post graduate work at Lee Strosberg and was Director of Actors Workshop 1968; Marilynn was Instructor Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater 1964- 1967. She was communications faculty and director at Parkside Players University of Wisconsin at Parkside, Kenosha in 1967. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Dr. Baxter was always a theater buff and she enjoyed acting as well as directing. She did free-lance commercial work in Milwaukee and Chicago areas. Marilynn joined the Daughters of the American Revolution as a junior on April 15, 1967, and was a member for 51 years. She was a member of Kenosha WI Chapter DAR and was Chapter Regent 1974-1977 Dr. Baxter was Past Vice President General of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) 1990- 1993. She was Wisconsin DAR State Regent 1986-1989. When Marilynn became State Regent, a member of the Kenosha Chapter wrote a song in her honor, “Marilyn Our Marilyn” Her NSDAR services included being a member of the Long Range Planning Commission 1998-2007, Chair of this Commission 2004-2007. In addition, she was Chair of the Wisconsin Room 1989-2001, member of Speakers Staff 2001- 2013, She also served as Vice Chair (VC) American Heritage Committee – Literature and Drama 1998-2001, VC National Defense Committee 1998-2001, VC DAR Scholarship Committee-Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi-MBA Scholarship, VC North Central Division Historic Preservation 2010-2013. Dr. Baxter was a life member of the National Officers Club, NSDAR. While she was WSDAR Regent she organized a membership survey and printed a membership directory, encouraged all members to utilize computer technology and use videotapes and TV to promote DAR. One of her projects was designing a traveler’s decal which was sold in the NSDAR Store. The English lantern clock is the oldest clock in the DAR Museum’s collection; it dates from 1690 to 1715, coinciding with the reign of William and Mary of Orange, who were Dutch. The Dutch tulip motif appears in the middle of the dial and on the central fret above the face, flanked by the coat of arms of England. Lantern clocks were the first readily available domestic clocks in England. The clock which is on display in the Wisconsin Period Room, DAR Museum, was a gift to the room from Dr. Marilynn Baxter. Dr. Baxter supported Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters serving as chair of the Long Range Planning Commission. In addition, she served on the WSDAR State Board as Chaplain and Curator. Baxter’s ancestors were with the Pilgrims who sailed from England to the colonies in New England. It was from these ancestors she qualified to become a member of Patriotic Organizations including General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Colonial Dames of America, National Society of Magna Charta Dames, Plantagenet Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Marilynn’s commitment to Colonial Dames of America – Wisconsin included being a longstanding board member, Honorary President, and past Region II Museum Property Chair, Lady of Dumbarton, and Chair of Historical Indian Agency House, Portage Wi Committee.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

DAR Service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Schueneman-Tumbleson Funeral Home, Kewanee. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Graveside Services will follow at the Pleasant View Cemetery, Kewanee. Pastor Dan Craig will officiate. Memorials may be made to Fort Winnebago Surgeons Quarters, 1824 State Road 33, Portage, Wisconsin 53901.

Please leave a memory or online condolence for Marilynn’s family and friends at

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