Both Randy and Kenner grew up as farm kids in the area, Randy near Lewis and Kenner near Walnut. Don’t ask them when they met, because they have no idea. They figure it was sometime in the early 1970’s when Kenner was in high school and Randy was very generous with motorcycle rides. More than likely it was at a dance in the old 4H building. After high school Randy worked as a farm hand for the Kennedy brothers, and then as a welder at the Norway Center shop. He started working on Triumph motorcycles at night in a chicken coop, and when he started spending more hours wrenching bikes on his own than at Norway Center, he took a leap and opened the shop in Marne where he has built Baxter Cycle into a business that has customers around the world.
Kenner went to college at Iowa State, and after graduation embarked on a career in advertising copywriting. Her first job was at Western Auto in Kansas City, then Macy’s Kansas City, then Mervyn’s in Dallas, which led her to Mervyn’s in the San Francisco area, followed by an agency in Atlanta, then to Spiegal Catalog in Chicago. At this point, she had enough contacts in the retail advertising world to go freelance. Shortly after going freelance (1992) Kenner went home to Walnut for homecoming to watch her nephew play football. She and a friend ended up going to an Atlantic Fire Dept. dance at the airport in Atlantic, where she bumped into Randy. They started dating long distance, and in 1994 she moved to Marne and they married.
They have two daughters from Randy’s first marriage. Christina is a nurse at the Cass County Hospital. She and Jason Fredericksen are getting married on Sept. 9. Between the two of them they have 3 kids: Dasia is 9, Logan is 8 and Jorja is l. Jason works in the mechanics’ shop for A.M. Cohron. Brittney and her husband Chris both work for Baxter Cycle. Brittney is the bookkeeper/office manager, and Chris is the computer/website guru.
Randy and Kenner are civic-minded citizens, and both volunteer their time for several local organizations, as well as staying involved here at Zion Lutheran. Randy has been Mayor of Marne for several terms, and it looks like he’ll be keeping the job for another term. (Although he’d gladly step aside if someone else decided to run!) As Mayor, he serves on several county boards. He is also chair of Western Iowa Development Association. Kenner is involved with regional economic development organizations, including Southwest Iowa Coalition, MINK (Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas Corridor), Western Iowa Tourism Region, and the Cass County Tourism Committee.
The Baxter’s enjoy traveling, and have taken a couple of cruises when the girls were younger. They have been to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, England, and France, as well as most of the 50 states (Alaska has been elusive). Randy first joined the Missouri Synod Lutheran church at First Lutheran near Wiota. He transferred to Zion when his girls were old enough for Sunday school. He has been a long time Sunday school teacher, served as Elder several times, and is currently co-chair of the Education Committee. Kenner joined Zion following their marriage. She is a member of altar Guild (currently as Chair) is in charge of changing flags and banners, and is in charge of one of the groups that serves lunch at funerals. We thank them for their service to Zion and the community and wish them God’s blessings in the years ahead.