Baxter Matthew Coles

March 25, 1933 to April 17, 2019


It is with great sadness that the family of Baxter Matthew Coles announces his passing on April 17, 2019, aged 86 years. A kind and gentle man of the highest integrity with a great love of poetry and literature, he was a lifelong educator who finished his career at Memorial University as professor of English.

He was born and grew up in Savage Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula, the youngest of thirteen children. He started his teaching career there and brought his love of literature to many outport communities along the West Coast.  He was well respected by both his colleagues and his students.

Predeceased by his loving wife Barbara (nee Sheppard), his parents, Matthew and Susannah (nee Mitchelmore) Coles, and his twelve siblings, Miriam (Llewellyn) Hounsell, Sarah, Bessie (Hedley) Fowler, Elisa, Albert, Bertha (Jim) Rumbolt, Dulcie, Harris (Marcia), Ethel (William) Rumbolt, William Henry, Beulah (George) Spencer, Ivy (Melvin) Farwell. 

Leaving to mourn with grateful hearts so blessed to have had him are his three children, Karen (Ron) Howell, Keith (Dawn) Coles and David Coles; his three precious grandchildren, Emily and Sarah Howell and Alexander Coles and many special nieces, nephews, relatives and friends who thought so much about him.

Resting at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road with visitation on Saturday, April 20 from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm and Sunday, April 21 from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm.  Funeral service will take place on Monday, April 22 @ 11 am at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, 203 Logy Bay Road.  Interment to follow at the Anglican Cemetery on Kenmount Road.  Flowers gratefully accepted or a donation made to the charity of your choice in Baxter’s name.

 “The old order changeth, yielding place to new, and God fulfils Himself in many ways…”



2-4 p.m. on April 20, 2019

7-9 p.m. on April 20, 2019

2-4 p.m. on April 21, 2019

7-9 p.m. on April 21, 2019

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


11:00am, Monday April 22nd

St. Mark's Anglican Church
203 Logy Bay Rd, St. John's


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Sorry to hear this, condolences to to your family from mine. I have fond memories of Mr. Coles taking us to a Scout jamboree in 1980 and leading us down the Exploits river in canoes. Best wishes to all.

As kids growing up in Virginia Park Keith was part of the ‘gang’ and we frequented the Cole residence over the years. My impression then was one of a loving household. Baxter would drive us kids around and I remember him as a warm person who would delight in regaling us with stories and interesting factoids. I recall one such conversation driving along The Boulevard about Quidi Vidi, how it should be pronounced and what it meant in Latin. I never forgot that.

Late condolences to Keith and the entire Cole Family.

We are so sad to hear of Uncle Baxters passing, he was such a sweet and generous man, who always had a smile on his face whenever you see him. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Hold on to all the precious memories of Uncle Baxter those memories will help you find comfort in the hard days ahead. Sending all our love to you all. Take Care

Michael and I are very sad to hear about Baxter’s passing.We were long-time colleagues at Memorial University with Baxter and admired his dedication to learning and to his students.He was a kind and generous man and a great asset to the Department of English.
We sent our heart-felt condolences to all his family.

Drs.Annette and Michael Staveley

Condolences to uncle Baxter and family he was a great man and will be missed by so many

So sorry to hear of your father’s passing; _ Please accept our deepest sympathy to you and all your family.

Karen & Ron, Emily & Sarah, Keith, Dawn & Alexander and David.
I am so saddened at the loss of Uncle Baxter. He was a special uncle and I will miss him dearly, especially on my visits to St. John’s.
He always had that genuine, special interest in knowing how/what everyone was doing.
My deepest condolances to you all. One consolation is that those wonderful memories we all share will never die but live on in our hearts forever..
With heartfelt Sympathy
Pauline Elms

Karen, Keith, and David. I am so saddened to hear of your dad’s passing. I know you are still grieving the loss of your mom and this loss will be so painful for you. I didn’t know him well but in my association through your mom, I sense he was a man of wise integrity and words of wisdom. I’m sure that you have wonderful memories of him and I pray that you will find comfort and strength in those nemories as you mourn his loss. Please accept my sincere condolences. I am away so won’t be able to visit the funeral home but please know that my thoughts and prayers are surrounding you all at this difficult time..
Greta Orsborn

Karen, Keith And David
Sorry to hear of Uncle Baxter passing, thinking of you all with a heavy heart,he was a wonderful Uncle. We will miss him on our visits to St. John’s. Thoughts and prayers are with you all. Take care, deepest sympathies
Love Nephew Albert and Rita

Dear Karen, Ron, Emily. Sarah and the rest of the Coles family. My sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Coles. From my interactions with him he can best be described as a true gentleman. I know he will be sorely missed by you all. You are all in my thoughts. Sending hugs.

Such an awesome man who always wore a smile. We will miss you Uncle Baxter. RIP love Robin, Cynthia, Julie and Luke

Dear Karen, Keith and David,

I know the sadness of your father’s passing is acute today but know that he was loved and admired by many and will be greatly missed. His quiet demeanour and principled approach to life was constant over the years. The stories of his growing up on ‘the great Northern Peninsula’ of Newfoundland‘ and the one room school-house he attended always fascinated me. His story of dropping water buckets at the well on his way to school and picking them up on his way home was one example of the ‘outport Newfoundland experience’ …. as did the tale of his being tested for his driver’s license while operating a skidoo, ….he passed the first try! His was a life experience few can imagine today but one that stressed hard work and community togetherness to succeed. I was a student of his twice during my high school years (In Corner Brook and again in Wabush, Labrador when I lived with them for a year.) While I may not have been the perfect student, he was an excellent teacher who expected much from his students.. Thank you, Bax!

Aunt Pauline

To Karen & Ron, Keith & Dawn, David, Emily, Sarah and Alexander,
I will always remember Uncle Baxter as a kind and gentle man who loved his family and his home. He was such a special person and will truly be missed by all who knew him.
Nicole, David, Keegan, Gavin & Avery Butt

To Bax’s Family, Sincere condolences on the death of your Dad. While we didn’t have a concection with any of you, we bowled on a team in the retired teachers bowling league with your Mom and Dad as “Team PARKS”. They were two very pleasant people and were a pleasure to share a Team with. We have pleasant memories of our time spent with them.
Sincerely, Tony and Maureen Healey
St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s Bay

Karen and family,Keith and family and David.
My dear cousins, I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dad.He was one of the best.Keep the wonderful memories of him in your heart.
Know that he is at peace with your dear mother
and all his love ones who have gone before him.
Our Deepest condolences to you all.

God Bless
From Miriam,Hubert & family

Dear Karen and Ron, Keith and Dawn, David, Emily and Sarah and Alexander, we are so very sorry to hear of Uncle Bax’s passing. We’re thinking of you all, and sending our love. Laura, Thane, Elias, Aiden and Olivia.

Linda and I send condolences to the family. Met him five years ago. He talked about the relationship between his mother and my father ,Guy,. Very nice man. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ross and Linda Mitchelmore

So sorry to hear about Uncle Baxter’s passing. I didn’t know him really well but every time we spoke he embodied the Coles characteristics of thoughtfulness, gentleness and integrity. He never failed to talk about my mom (Irene Furey, nee Coles) which always brought a smile. Sad to see another of that generation has left us but he will be remembered with a smile.
Janine White

To my cousins Karen ,Keith ,David and their families . I join with you in mourning the loss of your dad ,,grandad and my precious Uncle . I will cherish the memories of the kindest, gentliest and most genuine loving Uncle /loyal friend anyone could have .I grew so close to him as a child and the years has made the connection grow even stronger since I moved to St John’s and lived close to him here.. The angels has carried his precious soul beyond the sunset and into the arms of his loving family who has gone before him ,where he now has happiness and peace eternal . God Bless him .We will miss him so much . ❤️

Karen and family, Keith and family and David.. We are so very sorry to hear of Uncle Baxter’s passing. He was such a loving and sweet man.. Hold all those beautiful memories of him close. He’ll be dearly missed. We send you our deepest condolences. God Bless Love Dale, Carl, Danielle, and Stephanie

Sincere condolences to Karen, Keith, David and all the family. May the wonderful memories of your dad fill your hearts with joy and peace while you find comfort in knowing that he is in eternal peace with your beautiful mom.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

God Bless,
Marsha & Sherri (Coles) and families

To :B axter’s Family
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy .Bax was a gentle. kind ,and helpful friend and colleague. He was loved and admired by all who knew him. May he rest in peace.”Good night sweet prince”.

A message on behalf of Harrison White of Sandy Cove.
( who does not use computers.). Great memories of going to Memorial university with Baxter and living in the same house on Smith Avenue. Mr Coles was was the first principal at Canon Richards High School in Flower’s Cove he told me. Sending condolences to his family from distance friends. God Bless.