DONALD T. BALDWIN, SR.
Beloved husband of Blanche and father of Ted (D.T., Jr.).
Called to the Celestial Lodge Above, April 27, 2002, at 77 years of age.
Don was proud of the calling cards his son made him - he handed out hundreds of them, and made sure every little kid he met got at least one.
Don Baldwin was a brilliant salesman who is with his loved ones that have gone before; his In-laws Bert and Bertha Lowman, his Parents, Forest and Katharine Baldwin, Aunt Vina Braughton, Uncle Louis Baldwin, and Grandma Baldwin. Native of Illinois and resident of Baton Rouge, he was a WWII Air Force Veteran, Staff Sergeant in the 394th Squadron, 13th Air Force, 5th bomb group operating in the Philippine Islands. Don and the other "Bomber Barons" survived enemy sabotage, and 2 plane crashes in his 2 years of service. Don was a Past Master of Lincoln Lodge 210 in Illinois and carried the flag in the Color Guard for Ansar Shrine in Springfield, Illinois. He became a Perpetual Member of Capitol Masonic Lodge #399. He was also a member of Scottish Rite.
Masonic Service at 7:00 PM Monday, Charlet Funeral Home in Zachary. Military Service at Port Hudson Cemetery, 2:00 PM, Tuesday, April 30, 2002.
Christian Memorial to be arranged.
| Don Baldwin was one of the
most unusual people you could ever meet; a temper forged in the hell of Pacific
War, kindness born of the same, with an indomitable spirit and love of the
world. He was an ardent Mason, having been elected Worshipful Master of lodges
in Illinois three times, Thrice Excellent high Priest, and a proud member of
the Ansar Shrine Color Guard.
He was a fisherman, boating enthusiast, water skier, roller skater, civic leader, and friend to all who knew him. He loved to watch stock car racing and spent hour upon hour working on boats and motors. He ran a successful boating business, Lincoln Marine Sales and Service, in Lincoln Illinois, as a hobby. He sold Chevrolet automobiles in Central Illinois for 13 years, achieving Legion of Leader Status each of those years. He later managed Chrysler and Ford dealerships. To his last days car dealers in Baton Rouge were trying to hire him as a consultant. Rather, he spent his time as a sales consultant advising his son Ted at 3rd Coast Digital Films, Inc. and helped out whenever he could.
One year he was the top car salesman in the entire Peoria Zone - an amazing feat considering the dealership he worked for was in a town of 15 thousand people more than 30 miles from any big city in Illinois.
His favorite haunts were any large bodies of water, and he planned and executed two major river trips following the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio and Kentucky Waterways - all in a 16.5 foot Sandusky Bluewater half-cabin boat, with his wife and lifelong companion Blanche as navigator. Don and Blanche were married upon his return from the war on Dec. 8, 1945. They had one son, Donald T. Jr., April 28, 1953.
Don maintained river camps at Patterson Bay, Illinois, and in French Settlement, Louisiana, and ran his recreational pursuits from those bases. He was Harbormaster of National Marine Sales and Service in Peoria for many years until he moved with his wife to Louisiana to be with their son. Anyone who stopped for gas at National became his friend, and many people made the marina a natural visit because of him.
He gave of himself without thought of reward. In the 1970's he organized and ran an Auxiliary Police department in Logan County, Illinois, to assist with storm damage, fire or other public necessity. Every year they patrolled the Logan County Fair grounds to keep it safe for families.
He arranged a Illinois General Assembly Scholarship for his son, and supported him through grueling years of school and graduate school - always encouraging him to follow his heart - even when he himself was mystified by it...
He encouraged his son when he wanted to become a Mason, and never lost faith in his family.
Don with Most Worshipful Patrick E. Kelley, Grand Master of Masons in the State of Louisiana. The Grand Master is presenting dad with his perpetual membership certificate at Capitol Lodge.
As Worshipful Master of Capitol Lodge in 2001, Ted was bursting with pride to have his Father attend the Perpetual Membership Awards banquet. Left to Right: Don T. (Ted) Baldwin, Jr., Don T. Baldwin, Sr., P.M., M.W. Patrick E. Kelley, G.M.
Don was a lifelong member of First Christian Church of Lincoln Illinois, and was always the first one on site with cookies for Vacation Bible School.
Don Loved God and Jesus, and was supportive of the ministry to no end. He often attended assemblies with Leon H. Appel, Pastor of First Christian, in the 1960's, and worked hard to understand how war fit into God's Plan.
In his last days, Don was filled with peace and comfort, secure in the knowledge that he was greatly loved by his wife and son. Would be everyone to have as blessed a peace. He was a great Mason.