Edwin Baldrige Jr.
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Dr. Edwin R. Baldrige, Jr.
Dr. Edwin R. Baldrige, Jr. Flags are flying at half-staff over Muhlenberg College and the world is a little less bright and funny with the passing of Dr. Edwin R. Baldrige, Jr., 83, of Luther Crest Retirement Community, South Whitehall Twp. Ed died peacefully on Friday, January 10, 2014, in the Luther Crest Health Care Center, surrounded by family. He was the beloved husband of Georgia (Wright) Baldrige, with whom he celebrated 61 years of marriage on August 30, 2013. Born in Hollidaysburg, he was the son of the late Edwin R. and Marion (Trexler) Baldrige. Dr. Baldrige was a generous and kind man with a gifted sense of humor. He welcomed all he saw with a warm smile and a quick joke. His humor, optimism, and assortment of tricks and sayings live on through his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, colleagues, students, and many friends, but his legacy will endure. A graduate of the Haverford School for Boys, Ed continued his education at Dartmouth College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1952. He received his Master of Arts Degree and Ph.D. in 1954 and 1963, respectively, from Lehigh University. An Army veteran, Ed served his country in Germany from 1955 to 1957. After he arrived home from the service, Ed began his teaching career at Muhlenberg College, where he served as Professor of History for 40 years until he retired in 1997. He was a charter member of the Faculty Club and served as its president from 1966 to 1982. Dedicated to education, Ed served on the Parkland School Board from 1970 to 1982 and was a former President. A member of the Lehigh County Historical Society, he served on the Board and as President of the organization. He served on the Board of the Institute for Learning in Retirement and taught there for several years after his own retirement. He was a former member of the Allentown Housing Authority and a longtime member of the Allentown Kiwanis Club and Contemporary Club. He was also a member and former Elder and Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. Ed was recognized with scores of honors throughout his life, including: the inaugural Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg Distinguished Service Professor; the Alumni Associations award for Distinguished and Exceptional Service to the College; and the Trustees Award for Continuing Service to the College. Survivors: Wife; sons, Edwin R. Baldrige III and his wife, Lydia Panas, of Kutztown, Thomas T. Baldrige and his wife, Susan, of Lancaster, Christopher W. Baldrige and his partner, David Skerpon, of Harrisburg; grandchildren, Jordan and his wife, Kay, Holland, Lukas, Elias, Anastassia, Liam; great-grandchildren, Keegan and Ellie. Services: Memorial service 11 a.m., Saturday, in the Sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown. Call 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, in the church. Arrangements by J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, Allentown, www.jsburkholder.com. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Muhlenberg College, in memory of Edwin R. Baldrige, Jr., Attn. Development Office, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18104; Meals On Wheels of Lehigh County, 4234 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, PA 18104; or the Alzheimer's Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

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Published in Morning Call on Jan. 14, 2014.
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