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Dr. Edwin R. Baldrige, Jr., 83, Former Parkland Board President

Edwin Baldrige, a long-time Muhlenberg professor and Parkland school board member, died last week.

Dr. Edwin Baldrige. (Contributed photo)
Dr. Edwin Baldrige. (Contributed photo)
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 Association’s 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.

Memorial Service 11:00AM Saturday in the Sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown. Call 10 to 11:00AM Saturday in the church.

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