On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Dave A. Paxton, 69, of Fleming Island, FL, passed away when his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle near Vicksburg, MS. He was on one of his regular, cross-country motorcycle rides and had planned to visit his family in Washington state. Dave was born in Maryville, TN, on August 31, 1952, but spent many of his early years in California. He graduated from Everett High School in Maryville, Carson-Newman University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dave spent 49 years total in ministry, 46 of which were in youth ministry. The last three years he served as a Generations Pastor. The churches in which he ministered were Dotson Memorial Baptist Church and Grandview Baptist Church of Maryville, TN; First Baptist Church of Crowley, TX; Olive Baptist Church of Pensacola, FL; First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, TN; First Baptist Church of Orange Park, FL; and the Vietnamese Christian Church of Jacksonville, FL. Dave additionally served on the staffs of multiple church camps and on many mission trips during his life. During his later years, he had a passion for mentoring younger youth ministers across the Southern Baptist Convention. Dave Paxton’s positive spiritual impact on the thousands of people he encountered during his life was tremendous. Dave was a gifted Bible teacher, preacher and speaker, and was exceptionally creative in reaching others for Christ. He loved people and pointing them to Jesus. He had fun in all that he did. His hobbies included motorcycle riding, fishing, snow skiing, scuba diving and skydiving. Dave was predeceased by his father, Bobby Gene Paxton. His grandparents, Roy and Rena Paxton and Vincent and Mary Farmer, and several beloved aunts and uncles also predeceased Dave. Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of more than 50 years, Sharon A. (Gladden) Paxton. His mother, Nora Ann Merriman, and his sisters, Melody Ann Paxton (Benjamin Barnes) and Belinda Jene Paxton (Carl Lewis) of Washington state, also survive him. Furthermore, his survivors include his brother-in-law, Dwight Gladden (Marilyn) of Maryville, TN; sister-in-law, Sheila Vaught (Jim) of Johnson City, TN; nieces, Rebecca Conn (Jason) of Flower Mound, TX and Stephanie Gladden of Maryville, TN; nephews, Preston Vaught (Sierra) of Johnson City, TN, Riley Acoba (Rita), Corey Acoba (Lauren) and Emett Steele of Washington state. He had many special great-nieces and -nephews and his father’s wife, Pam, who survive him. In lieu of flowers, the family of Dave Paxton respectfully requests that donations be made either to the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes or the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes. The family will receive friends, Thursday, May 12, 2022, 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with the funeral to follow. Burial will be Friday, May 13, 2022, 11:00 a.m. at Dotson Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.
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