Paxton was ‘epitome’ of Mustang alumni

Charter class member of Southwest Minnesota State College dies

MARSHALL — Southwest Minnesota State University has lost a good friend. John Paxton died Monday at his home in Marshall at the age of 68.

A Marshall High School graduate, he was a charter class member of Southwest Minnesota State College. He graduated in 1971 with a bachelor of arts in business administration and never forgot his alma mater.

On SMSU Today’s Facebook page there is a statement: “The SMSU community is saddened by the passing of John Paxton, who died today, Monday, June 12, 2017. John was a charter class member and a great friend of the University. Much of the signage across campus was his business’ work — Paxton Signs.”

Deb Hey of Marshall was the first to comment on Facebook. She wrote, “What a wonderful guy. It’s sad that we are going to have a void in our community. He was well respected and always a pleasure and a gentle man.”

Paxton was honored in 1979 with a distinguished service award from the SMSU Alumni Association. In 2008, the SMSU Alumni Association created an award called the John and Kathy Paxton Alumni Service Award. John and his wife, Kathy, were the first recipients of that award in 2008.

Bill Mulso, SMSU development director, said SMSU lost a good one this week.

“John was the epitome of Mustang alumni,” said Mulso. “He would drop whatever he was doing and go out of his way to help in any way he could. When people talk about SMSU alumni, John and Kathy are always part of the conversation. They were the ones who started gathering SMSU alumni and kept them engaged long before we even had an alumni office. I’ll never forget John running up and down the sidelines of the RA facility with that huge SMSU flag cheering on his Mustangs.”

In addition to supplying signs and attending sporting events, Paxton served on the Alumni board of directors, Foundation board of directors and was also a member of the Mustang Booster Club.

Services are at 11 a.m. Saturday at Christ Lutheran Church in Marshall. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home in Marshall. Visitation will continue from 10-11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be at the Marshall Cemetery.