Attorney Philip Charles Baldwin passed away in his home surrounded by loved ones on November 12, 2012. Mr. Baldwin was 88 years of age and is survived by his wife, Lynne Baldwin, his son Richard Baldwin (Dafna), and daughters Elizabeth Wyble (Xelle), Cecelia Baldwin, Kathleen Baldwin (William Tomlinson), and Nancy Sherman (Lee), and step-children Michael Fitzgerald (Lark), Joseph Fitzgerald (Yvette), and Andrea Fitzgerald (David Batterson), as well as 18 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Mr. Baldwin was born June 7, 1924 the son of Richard Taylor Baldwin and Harriet Elizabeth (Riddick) Baldwin Harrington. After graduation from Albion High School he attended Albion College, but left after two years when he was called to serve in WWII. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1943, eventually serving in the Pacific Arena as a B29 pilot.
In 1944, he married Anne Hubbard and upon discharge in 1945 when the war ended he returned home to pursue a legal degree. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received a law degree as well as an honorary Doctorate of Law Degree. After graduation he opened a private practice in Albion, where he also served as the City Attorney.
In 1954, he was called to service again for the federal government in during the Eisenhower Administration and was appointed to the Federal Civil Defense Mobilization office in Battle Creek, Michigan. Four years later, he was asked to serve as the Deputy and the General Counsel to the Federal Civil Defense Administration, which was based in Washington, D.C. There he played an instrumental role in the development of the first national civil defense plan.
His expertise and knowledge of national defense legalities resulted in his appointment to the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Kennedy in 1961, where he worked closely with the President and with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. But home and family beckoned and shortly after this appointment Mr. Baldwin left the Kennedy Administration to return to private practice in Albion.
Before this goal could be realized, however, he was called back to serve at the President's side as a legal advisor during the Cuban Missile Crisis. While serving as a legal advisor during this conflict, Mr. Baldwin was one of the last people to meet with President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connolly the night before the President was assassinated.
Shortly afterward, Mr. Baldwin left the political arena and returned to private law practice in Albion. This provided him the opportunity to serve the community and his clients included various corporations, organizations as well as individuals in need of legal advise.
For example, he served on the legal team that led the construction of the first domed sports arena in the country and suggested it be named the "Astrodome" after the dome in the cockpit of the B29s he flew in WWII.
Many of his legal enterprises were high profile, yet Mr. Baldwin placed a high value on supporting the community he lived in. During the 60 years he practiced law in Albion, he helped countless families and friends who were in need of legal advice and service.
Returning home also enabled him to spend time with his growing family.
He and Anne raised five children and enjoyed numerous community activities. As a couple they were active Albion College alumni and as a family they were strong members of the First Methodist Church and were involved in numerous service and community organizations, including the Boy Scouts and he was an Active Rotarian.
Anne passed away in 1989. A year later, he met and married Linda Dohn and together they have enjoyed a blended family of eight children and numerous grand children and great grand children. The Baldwins have pursued numerous civic activities, such as serving as hosts for the annual Albion Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Party as well as personal ventures such as cross country skiing, fishing, hiking and traveling.
In addition to Anne, Phil is preceded in death by his brother Paul, his sister Ruth Mary and a grandson, Kyle Fitzgerald.
Viewing will be held at the J. Kevin Tidd Funeral Home, 208 West Erie Street, Albion, MI from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2012. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Wesley Chapel, First United Methodist Church, Albion, with Rev. Jeremy Williams officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be in Riverside Cemetery-Albion.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorial gifts be made to Oaklawn Hospice or the Albion First United Methodist Church Capital Campaign. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.