Irene McElroy Baldwin, age 92, of Bridgeport and Englewood, Florida died Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport.
A Redding resident with her late husband, John Robert Baldwin, from 1958 to 1991, Irene is survived by three children and their spouses, Connie B. O’Brien and her husband Edward of East Greenbush, N.Y. and Penelope B. Dawson of Redding, and James Colby Baldwin and his wife Rose Witte of Redding. Irene is survived by four grandchildren and their spouses, David O’Brien and his wife Lisa Ellis of Toronto, Ontario, Diane O’Brien-Wooller and Mat Wooller of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Christopher James Baldwin and May Baldwin of Redding and by three great grandchildren, Dashiell O’Brien of Toronto, and Owen and Phoebe Wooller of Fairbanks.
Irene grew up in Bridgeport, the daughter of the late James A. and Marie Lennon McElroy. In addition to her husband and parents she was predeceased by her brother James and sister Connie.
She and John met as students commuting to school in New York and married during World War Two when John was a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps stationed in San Antonio, Texas. After the war, they raised a family, and in her forties, Irene decided to finish her education. She graduated from what was then Danbury State Teachers College with a BA in history, having written a comprehensive history of Georgetown for her senior thesis. This paper was later printed serially in The Redding Pilot. Irene received a Masters Degree in early childhood education from Manhattanville College and worked with emotionally disturbed children in New York.
After retiring to Florida, she continued to work with children by volunteering at the schools there.
Irene will be remembered by all who knew and loved her for her love of learning, her devotion to children, her appreciation of nature and the beauty of Redding, her awesome fashion sense and her courageous sense of humor.
Funeral services for Irene were held Tuesday at St. Augustine’s Cathedral in the neighborhood where she grew up in Bridgeport with a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be private.
Friends may remember her by donating to the Mark Twain Library, an institution which Irene loved and frequented often.
—by the family