DR. MARK C. PAXTON, CLASS OF 1980, GPR CLASS OF 1981
Dr. Mark Christopher Paxton died on Feb. 8, 2018 in Spokane, Wash. He was 63. Dr. Paxton was a beloved husband, father, Papa, brother and friend. His life was packed to the brim with adventure, service, family and friends.
Dr. Paxton was born on Aug. 10, 1954 in Burbank, Calif., to Tom and Sue Paxton. He was the third of six children and grew up in Bellevue, Wash. He graduated from Washington State University and then attended the School of Dentistry. While at UW, he met Diane Stevens, followed her around, and persuaded her to marry him in 1980. After dental school, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he received his training as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
After leaving the Air Force, the Paxtons relocated to Spokane in 1995, where he started his oral surgery practice. Dr. Paxton had a special interest in cleft lip and palate surgery, and he touched the lives of many patients and their families through his compassionate and skilled work. He traveled to Colombia and Guatemala for 28 years with Hearts in Motion to perform surgeries for children who would have otherwise gone without any help. He mentored hundreds of surgical residents, dental students and WSU undergraduate students, and took them to Guatemala on these mission trips. He was also fundamental in building the Inland Dental Expanded Access Clinic in Spokane.
Dr. Paxton lived a full life and he touched many people. He loved adventures like traveling, hiking, biking, skiing, sailing, and especially flying. He was very loyal to his WSU Cougars. Mostly, he loved his family and friends, and cherished his last several months having his grandchildren, Quincy, Clara, and Edda, living in his home. He was a beloved Papa.
He is survived by his wife, Diane; son Chris (Mary Dorothy); daughter Lindsey; grandchildren Quincy, Clara, and Edda; siblings Anne (Jim Harvey) Paxton, Tim (Cathy), Matt (Kris), and Suzanne; parents-in-law Otto and Shirley Stevens; sisters and brothers-in-law Scott (Suzi) Stevens, Rich Stevens, Brian (Denise) Stevens, and Kristi (Rob) Rice; many nieces and nephews; and numerous special friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Tom. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)