Harold LeRoy Baldwin
February 1, 1927 – March 19, 2020
Harold LeRoy Baldwin, Professor Emeritus at Middle Tennessee State University, passed away March 19, 2020 at the age of 93.
Born February 1, 1927 in Denver, Colorado. At age 17 and only a senior in high school, he joined the Navy to serve in the Pacific during WWII. After discharge he went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Northern Colorado State University. In 1951, he began his teaching career for Pueblo Public Schools in Colorado. Eight years later, he moved with his family to Murfreesboro to begin his career at Middle Tennessee State College to teach in the Industrial Arts and Mass Communication Departments. Harold was instrumental in developing the photography program, as well as, founding and curating the photographic gallery. Over the years, he was responsible for the acquisition of works by internationally recognized photographers and establishing Lightyear, a yearly publication of the gallery’s collection and student work. In 1996, the University named the photographic gallery in Baldwin’s honor. During his tenure at MTSU, he served as President of the Faculty Senate, named Outstanding Teacher, and became a member of the Old Main Society. Most recently, in 2019, the state-of-the-art Baldwin Gallery Archives was constructed and named in his honor. The Archives houses a collection of photographs which is now worth over a million dollars. The Baldwin Photographic Gallery continues to exhibit works by world class photographers and rising talented students. Throughout the year, Mr. Baldwin continued to volunteer his time to prepare these exhibitions.
After retirement, Harold spent a great deal of time fostering his creativity through wood turning. He was also able to fulfill his dream of traveling the world with his wife and family; visiting Hong Kong, The Galapagos Islands, London, Paris, Munich, and Rome.
He was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Irene Baldwin of Greeley, Colorado and his wife of 62 years Oletha Baxter Baldwin. He is survived by daughters Sandra Deyo of Senoia, Georgia and Jill Canono (Elpedio) of Tallahassee, Florida. Grandchildren Josh May (Ashley) of Dallas, Georgia and Ashley Seman (D.J.) of Senoia, Georgia and great grandchildren Trey and Caroline Seman and Hudson May. A sister Helen Hergenreder (Jacob) Greeley, Colorado, nephew and niece Rick Hergenreder (Gayle) of Arvada, Colorado and Linda Wilson(Keith) Windsor, Colorado. Later in life, Harold found and built a special relationship with his half-sister Bonnie Dunham of Antioch, California.
He will be buried on March 31st, with military honors in Greeley, Colorado. A celebration of his great life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers; please consider gifts in memory of Mr. Baldwin to support the Baldwin Photographic Gallery at http://www.mtsu.edu/supportbaldwin or may be mailed to the MTSU Foundation, Box 109, 1301 E. Main St., Murfreesboro, TN 37132.
- Balwin Photographic Gallery
- Celebration of Life at a later date