Earnest "Sonny" Baldwin was born April 14, 1957, in Flatwood, Ala., to Dorothy Nelson Baldwin and the late Abner Baldwin. He accepted Christ at an early age and joined Sidney Chapel AME Zion Church in Consul, Ala. After relocating to Hartford, Conn., Sonny joined Bethel AME Church in Bloomfield, Conn., where he was an active member and served in numerous roles until his health began failing. On August 1, 2013, a Thursday morning, the Lord saw that his road had become too difficult to travel, and He called Sonny home. Sonny graduated from Amelia L. Johnson High School in Thomaston, Ala., in 1975. He obtained his bachelors of science degree in business administration from Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Ala., in 1980. He joined the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and served active duty in South Korea from 1980-1984. Sonny joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 1985 and rose through the ranks to Master Sergeant. During his time on active duty, he was an airborne soldier and earned the Expert Infantry Badge along many other accolades. During his time in the Reserves, Sonny served in a range of units, including the 76th Division, 98th Division, 94th Division and various others. At the time of his death, Sonny served as the Fort Devens cell leader of the 94th Division. In 2011, he received a bachelors of science in accounting from Central Connecticut State University, along with a minor in sociology. He is a retired state of Connecticut employee of the Department of Revenue Services and a former employee of the Hartford Police Department from 2007-2008. Up until his passing, he worked for the Connecticut VA Health System. Sonny was a member of various civic organizations including, but not limited to, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and being a life member of the American Legion and NAACP. Sonny was preceded in death by his father Abner Baldwin Sr. and brother Abner Baldwin Jr. He leaves to cherish his memories, a mother, Dorothy Nelson Baldwin, of Catherine, Ala.; his loving wife, Ella Loretta Miller, of Hartford, Conn.; one son, Marvis Lucy, of Birmingham, Ala.; one daughter, Latoria "Tory" Miller, and two grandchildren, Ashlee and Mikai, all of Hartford, Conn. Eight brothers: James (Leola) Baldwin of Hartford, Conn.; Charles (Cathy) Baldwin of Helena, Ala.; Reginald (Rosie) Baldwin of Byron, Ga.; George (Antoinette) Baldwin of Catherine, Ala.; Alvin (LaWanda) Baldwin of Milwaukee, Wis.; Gregory Baldwin of Alabaster, Ala.; Donald (Rosetta) Gardner of Toney, Ala.; and Willie (Joanne) Alexander of Cerritos, Calif. Four sisters: Ethel Baldwin of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; Dorothy (Reginald) Brown of Southfield, Mich.; Renita (Timothy) McDonald of Lilburn, Ga.; and Stella (Austin) McLeod of Fayetteville, Ga. Two uncles: Albert (Sadie) Baldwin of Flomaton, Ala.; Andrew Baldwin of Birmingham, Ala.; and one aunt, Lottie J. Baldwin Davis, of Chattanooga, Tenn. A host of nieces, nephews; great nieces and nephews; and 2 great-great nieces, cousins and other close friends.
Services will be held on Tuesday, August 6, at Bethel AME Church, 1154 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. Calling hours will be from 6-7 p.m., and the funeral will begin at 7 p.m. Burial to be held in Arlington National Cemetery. www.henrylfuquafuneralservice.com