Richard "Dick" Baldwin, 92, of Damariscotta, ME and formerly of Simsbury, CT, died June 21, 2012 at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, in the presence of his wife and daughter, after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. Born in Pensacola, FL, the son of Grace Conner and Grover Cleveland Baldwin, Dick moved to Oakville, CT in 1921 and graduated from The Taft School in Watertown, Bates College in 1947 with a B.S. in physics, and Boston University in 1948 with a Master's in physics. He enlisted in the Naval Communications Reserve in 1937 and was called to active duty in July 1941. He received his commission as ensign in May 1942 and served as communications officer aboard the destroyers USS Coghlan and USS Shields, participating in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in March 1943. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve after the war, achieving the rank of Commander. Dick's whole life revolved around telecommunications. He earned his first amateur radio license, W1IKE, in 1934, later becoming W1RU in the 1960s. Dick took a job as assistant secretary at the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), then located in West Hartford, in 1948 and with the exception of four years as an engineer at Motorola in the early 1950's he remained at ARRL (now located in Newington) until his retirement in 1982, being named Managing Editor of QST Magazine in 1956, Assistant General Manager in 1963, and General Manager in 1975. Dick became involved in the international promotion of amateur radio early in his career, and his work took him to all continents except Antarctica. He played a key role in planning and implementing a successful strategy for expanding the radio frequency allocations for amateur radio at the International Telecommunication Union's 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference. While the effort required his personal time and devotion over a 15-year period, with characteristic humility he described the success as "the result of superb teamwork on the part of a number of enthusiastic and devoted people." Upon retirement Dick and his wife Phyllis moved to Bremen, ME. He continued his international leadership of amateur radio as a volunteer, serving for 17 years as president of the International Amateur Radio Union, and in 1999 was named President Emeritus. Amateur radio was not Dick's only passion. He loved Dixieland jazz, astronomy, and sailing in his 35 foot ketch Endurance, named in honor of his hero Sir Ernest Shackleton. Dick leaves his loving wife of 63 years and devoted life partner Phyllis Smith Baldwin of Damariscotta; a daughter, Judy Baldwin of Montpelier, VT; a son, Glenn Baldwin of Bowdoinham, ME; brother-in-law George Billias of Worcester, MA; and cousins, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his sister Joyce Billias and brother Stephen Baldwin.
A Memorial service to Celebrate the Life of Dick Baldwin will be held at the Second Congregational Church, Newcastle, ME, on Friday, June 29 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the ARRL Second Century Fund c/o ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111 or to the Maine Woodcarver's Association c/o Barbara McCutcheon, Treasurer, 13 Liberty St., Fairfield, ME 04937. Arrangements are under the direction of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, Damariscotta, ME.