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December 17, 2012
Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Mary Baldauf, 90, passed away at her Fort Myers home on December 17 of natural causes. Mary, known to family as Marie, was born in 1922 in The Bronx, New York, to Charles and Mary (McGrath) Doran. She graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1939 and attended secretarial school in New York. She was married 26 years and resided in New York and New Jersey until 1968, when she moved to Fort Myers with 4 of her 6 children. Marie became a political activist in the struggle for women's rights, elderly rights, civil rights, and in the peace movement. She began the local chapters of National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1971, Gray Panthers in 1979, and Citizens Action League in the 1980's. She helped found the Lee County Food Co-op (which later became the Harry Chapin Food Bank), and served as its Vice-President in 1982. She was active in the Lee County Coalition for Peace, the NAACP, and is catalogued in the 2006 book "Feminists Who Changed America: 1963-1975." Marie was awarded the Living Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. Award by the City of Fort Myers in 1986 for dedicated service toward the civil rights struggle. In 1978, Marie became a paralegal for Florida Rural Legal Services, helping underprivileged people, until her retirement in 1995. She enjoyed world traveling, sewing, and gardening. Most of all, she was a devoted, loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Jeannine Schwartz, and is survived by her children Charles Baldauf, Dian (Kenneth) Jacobs, Laurel Duran, Richard (Janice) Baldauf, and Celeste Wasson; son-in-law Philip Schwartz; sister Carolyn Boily, brother Charles (Claudette) Doran; niece Anne (Campbell) Hudson; nephew John Doran; grandchildren Rebecca, Bethany, Adam, Thomas, Matthew, Etienne, Rianna, Sarah, and Hannah; grandniece Elena; and 5 great-grandchildren. Private memorial services will be held in New York State this summer.
Published in The News-Press from Dec. 31, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013