DENVER, COLORADO - Baxter Lynn Breaux died peacefully at home in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, October 14, 2023. Born in Beaumont, Texas on September 4, 1933, to Andre and Rita Breaux, Baxter led an extraordinary life.
His incredible work ethic started at a young age as he helped his father deliver ice around the Beaumont area. While attending Lamar University, he began working at Ideco as a mechanics helper. Eventually opportunity was presented to Baxter to work as a mechanic in the oil fields in Egypt and Venezuela which was just the start of a long career of turning opportunities into successes.
Baxter was not alone in his global adventures. He married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Jo Campbell, on November 28, 1952. Together, they lived abroad and traveled the world before settling back in Texas. Baxter, Shirley, and children Jimmy and Shari, moved to Odessa in 1962 where Baxter started Permian Engineering and Manufacturing Co. (PEMCO). PEMCO became a family business as Baxter's mother, Rita Breaux, and brother, Glen Breaux, later joined.
Baxter became well known for his mast design and manufacturing. His masts can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. Still today, his mast design continues to be used and replicated in the oil fields globally. After over 25 years of success building and repairing derricks and oilfield equipment, Baxter retired in 1987 turning the business over to Jimmy who still runs PEMCO today.
A devoted family man who never met a stranger, Baxter was incredibly generous, had a quick wit, was kind, and could fix just about anything. He loved telling stories of how he met and fell in love with Shirley and was infamous among his family for his handwritten "cards."
A large part of Baxter's life also included time spent at their home away from home in Snowmass Village, Colorado. Time in Snowmass was a family affair, and he undoubtedly instilled a love for the Rocky Mountains - and adventure - in all his family. He loved finding old mining roads to explore, hiking all throughout the Aspen Valley, and enjoyed a good ride down some white-water rapids. Baxter was an excellent snow skier and skied up until he was 88 years old. He knew just about every person on Snowmass Mountain, and likely his favorite thing to do was to entice his children and grandchildren to try to beat him down the mountain.
Baxter and Shirley were married almost 71 years. He is survived by his bride, and children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all who he loved so dearly: Jimmy Breaux of Odessa (Claire Breaux and Bethany Breaux); Bobby Breaux and his wife, Laura, of Grass Valley, California (Philip Breaux and his wife, Miranda, and their children Maverick, Pierce, and Paisley; Andre Breaux and wife, Gracie; and Camden Breaux); Tiffany Pritchett and her husband, Hartwell, of Erie, Colorado (Olivia); Amy Breaux and her husband, Eric Gerst, of Denver, Colorado (Campbell, Everly, and Andrew); and Robin Breaux. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, a large extended family, and many friends who feel more like family. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, brother, and daughter, Shari.
A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 at the chapel at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa. Graveside services to follow. Should friends desire, the family suggests sending memorial contributions to the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center or the Alzheimer's Association, a cause important to the family.