Sara Lowry "Sally" BALDWIN


BALDWIN, Sara Lowry "Sally" a third generation Tampa native, mother of four, ardent community philanthropist, and business woman pioneer, died in the early morning on Friday, July 5, 2013. She was 81. She died from Alzheimer's disease, but spent her final months peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family and friends. She was the daughter of Sarah Erwin Lowry and Loper Bailey Lowry. Sally was born in Tampa, in October 1931. She graduated from Plant High School, attended Randolph Macon College and graduated from the University of Florida in 1953. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She married Walter Baldwin, also of Tampa, and worked as an elementary teacher until she quit to become a full time mother to her four children. Sally was widely known as a businesswoman and community leader, managing her own commercial real estate portfolio and private investments. She was the first woman in Hillsborough County to be elected to the Board of Directors of a New York Stock Exchange listed corporation, Tampa Electric Company, serving for 27 years. She was a founding member of the Woman's Utility Conference, a group composed of nationwide corporate directors. Sally served as Chairman of the Board of the Lowry Park Zoo during its transformative years beginning in 1988, and as a board member for almost 15 years. She was instrumental in leading the Lowry Park Zoo capital campaign, founded the Zoo Endowment Fund and Karamu, the annual fund raising gala, all of which helped in the revitalization of the zoo. Under her stewardship and the tireless passion and commitment of her zoo colleagues, The Lowry Park Zoo was rated the number one family friendly zoo in the United States. Sally had many interests and her community contributions were numerous. She always took the opportunity to connect and influence her friends and family to her many civic and philanthropic pursuits. Sally was the Junior League of Tampa's Sustainer of the Year in 1997, and was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council in 2005. She led the Great Books program at the Academy of Holy Names and Grady Elementary School. She was a charter member of the Guilders for the Tampa Museum of Art and was a strong supporter of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, now known as the Straz Center. More recently, she supported the History Center and its initial capital campaign. She was an art lover and expressed her interest through her own painting and drawing. An avid gardener with a big green thumb, she grew orchids and ferns in her backyard slat house for 40 years and took great pleasure in sharing and gifting her arboreal creations with friends and neighbors. She was a voracious reader and loved traveling with her devoted husband and obstreperous children. She enjoyed playing tennis and keeping fit by running and staying active. Sally was the consummate and gracious host and used her love of antiques, gardening, art and home decoration to entertain her friends and family. She reveled in the opportunity to open her home and share her passions and zest for life. She is survived by her husband of 59 years and her four children, Bryan, Trey, Lowry and John. Sally has nine grandchildren. She also leaves behind her sister, Suzanne Lowry Botts of Charlotte, NC, and many cousins. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Lowry Park Zoo Endowment Foundation. Funeral Service will be held on Monday, July 8 at 11 am at St. John's Episcopal Church, located at 906 South Orleans Avenue, Tampa. Visit the online guestbook at

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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on July 6, 2013