July 17, 2009

Lula Baxter, program director for Catholic Charities, served the elderly for 20 years

By Mary Ann Wyand

Lula (Emile) Paige BaxterLula (Emile) Paige Baxter, the long-time program director of adult day services for Catholic Charities Indianapolis, died on July 12 in Indianapolis following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 71.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 18 at Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 N. Michigan Road, in Indianapolis.

The calling is from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on July 17 at Stuart Mortuary, 2201 N. Illinois St., in Indianapolis and from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on July 18 at Light of the World Christian Church.

Baxter completed 20 years of service as an archdiocesan employee on Feb. 20.

David J. Bethuram, agency director of Catholic Charities Indianapolis, said Baxter was “a gentle leader who believed in providing compassionate care for vulnerable adults and supporting their loved ones so their later years were filled with wonderful memories.”

He said “all of us at Catholic Charities Indianapolis will miss her professionalism and dedication in serving our older citizens.”

Ellen Brown, senior service director for Catholic Charities Indianapolis, remembered Baxter as “a compassionate, gifted colleague and friend.”

Brown said Baxter “kept abreast of trends and issues affecting frail older adults, and contributed to the professional development of the field of adult day services.”

During two decades of ministry to the elderly, Baxter “was recognized among her peers in the adult day services arena as a respected leader,” Brown said. “She exemplified the highest of ethical standards. Her staff could always look to her to model cooperation, service and stewardship. The national, state and local adult day services community joins us in mourning the loss of this extraordinary woman.”

In 1994, Baxter earned a certificate of public management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

She was a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Council on Aging as well as the National Association of Adult Day Services and Indiana Association of Adult Day Services, which she formerly served as president.

Baxter also served on the Medicaid Advisory Task Force and Conference on Ministry for Aging, and was a retired board member of the Alpha Home.

She also traveled to Australia and New Zealand as a member of a 16-person delegation to study issues in aging.

Baxter was an accomplished cellist and vocalist. She performed with the L. E. Newsome String Ensemble, and sang in the Community Mass Choir, Indianapolis Opera Chorus and Symphonic Praise Choir of the Indianapolis Philharmonic Orchestra.

She was a member of Light of the World Christian Church, where she sang with the Voices of the Light Choir and Golden Lights Choir.

Surviving are two children, Traci Daniels and Jerry Paige; a brother, Dr. Philip Emile; a sister, Helen Lewis; and two grandchildren.

Memorial gifts may be sent to A Caring Place, 4609 N. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46208 or Light of the World Christian Church Building Fund, 4646 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208. †

Local site Links: