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Richard Grant Baxter, 93, passed away in the early evening of Jan. 16, 2019. During his last weeks, his son and daughter surrounded him with love and support, comforting him in his final days and easing his journey to a joyful reunion with his beloved wife, Nancy.

Richard was the second of three sons born to Earl and Lizzie Baxter. He grew up on the family farm in Illinois. At the age of 19, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He flew over Italy during World War II, proudly serving his country as an airplane armorer-gunner.  After his honorable discharge in 1945, he returned home to Illinois for a short while. He then migrated to California, where he met his future wife. 

Richard and Nancy were married for 58 years and raised their family in Alameda. In their retirement, they enjoyed traveling and their life in the beautiful town of Paradise, Calif. Richard was active in his church and community. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Richard began his career in commercial construction as a laborer and worked his way up to a project manager. During his 40 years in the business, he was responsible for many of the hospitals built across the state.

Richard is predeceased by his wife, Nancy, and his eldest brother, Ken Baxter. He is survived by his younger brother, Ralph (Sylvia) Baxter; sister-in-law Starley Baxter; son Scott (Karen) Baxter; daughter Susan Baxter; grandson Ken (Michelle) Baxter and great-grandson Christopher Baxter.

The family wishes to thank AEC Elders Inn in Alameda for all their help and guidance during Richard’s stay.

There will be a memorial service and reception held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., in Alameda. Donations in the name of Richard Baxter may be contributed to a favorite charity.

Maria Chumas Syms passed away in Alameda Jan. 11, 2019. She was born in Kastina, Greece, to Spiro and Stella (Pappagiannis) Chumas. 

Maria was the loving mother of Evie (Les) Bianchi of Alameda and Evan (Maria) Syms of Torrance, Calif. She was the beloved grandmother of Nickolas Bianchi and Aleck Syms and sister of Effie Markis of Oakland. Maria is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Maria was preceded in death by her parents Spiros and Stella Chumas and her brothers Demetrios and George Chumas.

She was an active member and volunteer of the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland.

Maria was well known in Danville for her beautiful garden. She was a generous and thoughtful person often sharing bouquets of flowers from her garden with family and friends. She was also very accomplished in the kitchen. She enjoyed cooking for close family and friends. She made the best French toast in the Bay Area. She emigrated from Greece and had the fortitude to teach herself how to read, write and speak the English language.

Her greatest pride was her grandson Nick. She whole-heartedly enjoyed every waking moment she spent time with him, attending all his activities. Maria cherished all her friends and lived for her family. She was especially close to her daughter Evie and son-in-law Les who lovingly cared for her in their home, during her prolonged illness. She will be greatly missed by those fortunate enough to have known her.

Family and friends attended Trisagion Services on Jan. 21, and funeral services on Jan. 22. All services were held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension. Entombment in the Main Mausoleum, Mountain View Cemetery followed services.

For further information contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).


Lynne M. Taylor, 67, beloved mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and dear friend passed away peacefully at home in Alameda with her children by her side on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

Lynne was born to Mynderse and Muriel Taylor on Feb. 28, 1951, in Elgin, Ill. She graduated from Prospect High School in 1969 and received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Adrian College in 1974. 

Lynne was married to Robert Arnold from 1972 to 1981. She was later married to Jimmie Hammonds from 1989 to 1999.

Lynne’s early life and career were spent in the greater Chicago area. After her children moved on to college, her work in sales and her love of life brought her to Colorado. She spent 15 years there before moving to Alameda to be near her grandchildren.

Lynne is survived by her two children, Dylan Arnold (Carisa) and Alissa Saldivar (Marc). She also leaves six grandchildren: Ella, Mia and Grayson Arnold and Laelle, Tova and Boden Saldivar; one godson, Miller Boyd, and her beloved platinum Burmese cat, Piper.

Lynne was preceded in death by her father. She is survived by her mother, her brothers, Terry and Kent, and her sister, Patricia.

Lynne excelled in her career as a sales executive. Her sales career created the opportunity to form many lasting friendships and to live in various locations throughout her life. Although she was very successful in her career, her true passion was caring and advocating for animals. Lynne found joy in her companionship with her Australian shepards and Burmese cats. 

She also found great happiness and a sense of independence and community in riding and traveling on her Harley. She was also an avid runner and completed many marathons.

Celebrations of Lynne’s life are scheduled for:

  • This Saturday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Home of Truth, 1300 Grand St., Alameda.
  • Saturday, Feb. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy, 1901 Woodfield Dr., Schaumburg, Ill.
  • Details TBD, March 2019, in Denver, Colo.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Lynne’s name to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter at

For further information contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).