At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Michigan Humane Society
30300 Telegraph Rd Suite 220
Bingham Farms, MI 48025
Life Story / Obituary
Fun-loving and easy-going, Allen Francis Baldwin spread good cheer wherever he went. With a warm smile and a kind word, Al chose to focus on the best in others. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Al wholeheartedly lived each moment he was given inspiring others to do so as well. Revered by many, Al’s loving legacy will long live in the hearts of those who were blessed to know him.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, 1931 beheld a power of hope that undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than in Detroit, Michigan as Edward Francis Baldwin and Leah (Monroe) Baldwin welcomed their son Al into their hearts and home on November 11, 1931.
Growing up during the 30s and 40s in Owosso, Michigan, Al learned the values of family, hard work, and self-reliance upon which he built the rest of his life. The youngest of the Baldwins’ eight children, Al along with his sisters, Pat and Monnie, lived with his grandma for many years. While his older siblings, Lona, Dolly, Duane, Peggy, and Don, fondly called him “Little Bussie Boy”, Al wasn’t particularly fond of the moniker. A natural athlete, Al loved sports—especially baseball. During high school, he earned his varsity letter in tennis.
At the age of 16, Al had the good fortune of becoming friends with Al Miller while working together at Sanders. His friendship with Al quickly led to the introduction of his buddy’s 13-year-old sister Shirley Ann. Instantly smitten, Al asked Shirley to join him and his buddy, Al, on a trip to Detroit’s Edge Water Amusement Park. The young couple went and explored the westside funland in each other’s good company. Though Al and Shirley were definitely taken with one another, duty called, and Al soon found himself in the Army and proudly serving our country during the Korean War.
After completing his service and safely returning home, Al and Shirley started to date seriously. Clearly, he wanted to share the rest of his life with Shirley at his side. On Easter Sunday of 1955, Al hid an engagement ring in an Easter basket. A year later, on March 10, 1956, Al and Shirley exchanged their wedding vows at Divinity Lutheran Church. Surrounded by family and friends and with Al Miller as their best man and Alice Johnson Evert their maid of honor, the happy couple officially began their 62-years of loving marriage.
The newlyweds settled into life with one another and were soon blessed with the gift of children. As they welcomed their sons Marty and Bob and daughters Sharon and Jackie into their fold, Al’s commitment to providing a good home for his loved ones grew. He worked as an electrician at Detroit Edison for 37 years, faithfully lending his skills to the company’s success and role modeling the values of pride, hard work, perseverance, and service for his children.
Family traditions were important to Al, and he especially enjoyed sharing holidays with the extended families. Many a Christmas was spent at his sister Dolly and brother-in-law Carl’s home where they enjoyed catching up and reminiscing. Grandma Leah, who’d played piano for a living to silent movies and at ragtime bars, hit the keys with relish while the family sang along to the carols she expertly brought to life. Before the night concluded, Grandma Leah would bless the family with her signature song “Bill Bailey”. Summer picnics with the customary serenade of Ernie Harwell calling the Tigers game, volleyball matches, and card games were a treat as well. Al thoroughly enjoyed sharing his love for sports with his children. If the Tigers, Lions, or Wings were playing the game was on the TV or radio. Several Fathers’ Days proved extra special as they were celebrated at a Tigers ball game.
A heart-centered man, Al’s family included many many friends. He especially enjoyed the special connection he shared as one of the 3 “Al” Musketeers with his buddies Al Miller and Al Yuhasz. A proud graduate of Western High School in Detroit, Al and Shirley got together with many alumni monthly and would end each visit with the Western High School Song. Al also enjoyed combining his love of cards with his love of people. Pinochle and Euchre were Al and Shirley's games, and they played any chance they could. On Saturday nights the dining room table was sure to have people playing cards, and they continued to play three times a week at the Senior Clubs. Over the years, Ruth and Willard, Delores and Al, Fay, Doe, Mary and Whitey, Brenda and Dale, Bob, Jackie, and Sharon all shared in the fun of winning tricks, special melds, and trumping the competition.
Without a doubt, Al was a gift to all who knew him and saying our final “goodbyes” so soon after the unexpected death of his eldest son Marty, just a few short days ago, feels daunting. Yet for those who knew Al best, it is easy to agree that his life centered around his family. As his devotion and care were unfailing, it may afford a bit of comfort to know that he and his son are together. Though the world is surely less certain in the absence of Al’s steadfast presence, his legacy of ease and love will continue to brilliantly shine in the hearts and lives of those he leaves behind.
Allen Francis Baldwin, age 86, passed away June 19, 2018. Loving husband of Shirley Ann (Miller) for 62 years. Beloved father of the late Marty and Jayne Baldwin, Bob Baldwin, Sharon and Tim McCarthy, and Jackie and Tom Chance. Cherished grandfather of Samantha Baldwin, Kristyn Chance, Drew McCarthy, Sean McCarthy and Kelly Chance, and great-grandfather of Kacy Nardone. Memorial donations may be made to the Michigan Humane Society. Family will receive friends at a visitation held Friday, June 29 from 1-8pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd, Livonia, where a funeral service will be Saturday, June 30 at 1:00pm (instate 11:00am). The family suggests for you to dress casually in your favorite Detroit or Michigan Sports Attire. Al was an Avid Detroit and Michigan Sports Fan.