David B. Baldwin

February 9, 1922December 20, 2012

David B. Baldwin, 90, most recently of York Harbor, Maine, and formerly of Oneonta passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at the York Hospital in York, Maine.

Born in Cambridge, MA, February 9th, 1922, he was educated at various schools, and graduated Cum Laude from Harvard College in 1944. He received an M.A. from Columbia University in English and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in American Civilization in 1961.

He taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, and Dean Junior College (as chairman of the English Department) before coming to Hartwick College in 1964, where he remained until his retirement in 1993. He was also an editor for Arthur D. Little, management consultants. His interest in learning and teaching always centered around American literature. Among his favorite authors was Walt Whitman, and he especially loved poetry. He was a member of the American Studies Association and the College English Association. His publications included contributions to a major reference work on Whitman. He served on various committees at Hartwick and in the community, including the Catskill Choral Society, in which he sang bass, the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, the Center for Continuing Adult Learning, and the City of Oneonta’s Board of Assessment review.

Dave married Ruth Corey, artist and former WAVE, in 1947. She died in 1993. They had four children, one of whom, David Henry, died in 2002.

Dave’s life was joyful. A Christian bent moved him to join the Catholic Church in 1990. He, his family, and his associates had to deal with his longtime bipolar condition diagnosed in his twenties. After recovering from this initial episode while at Harvard, he worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute as an underwater photographer, part of wartime sonar research. After his retirement, he took up oil painting under the guidance of a professional, Paul Marsellino. The last three years were spent nearer his family at Sentry Hill in York Harbor, Maine where he especially enjoyed giving a series of poetry readings.

He is survived by one son, Ben and his wife, Liz Doucette, two daughters, Anita and Liza, two brothers, one sister and six grandsons.

A funeral mass will be offered on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM in St. Mary’s Church, Oneonta with the Rev. David Mickiewcz, officiating. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Oneonta, following the mass.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.


  • Mass Friday, December 28, 2012

David B. Baldwin

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Jennie Williams

January 7, 2013

Our lives here in Oneonta have been profoundly touched by David's life. Sending love and a hug to Anita, Ben and David's entire family.

Thomas Beattie

December 29, 2012

We were very sorry to hear of David's death and to be out of town at the time of his service. He was an old friend of more than 30 years and a valued colleague at Hartwick College. It was always a pleasure to spend time with him--stimulating conversation, charm and grace were his hall-marks. He was a dedicated teacher and a life-long student with many interests. He and Ruth were a wonderful team. We will miss him and send deepest condolences to Ben, Antia, Liza and their families.
Tom and Muriel Beattie (Oneonta, NY)

December 26, 2012

The Baldwin Family
David was my favorite professor at Hartwick. He and your Mom became friends - in fact I still have a begonia gifted for carrying for the house while they went to Maine in the early 80's. Two amazing & interesting people. Kept all your wonderful memories of them alive.
Priscilla Reed Welch (Oneonta, NY)

Stephen Rice

December 24, 2012

dear Ben and family, the death of David is for me the end of an era, the end of a friendship that began at Hartwick when David was my American Lit. professor....and continued to the end; I had just visited him last spring.....fortunately, I have many momentos from and of David: photographs of David with his cats on Ford Ave. and with his cat at his Sentry. apt.....sheets of his poetry readings and old text books that he signed years ago....paintings that he bequeathed to me, and the occasional letter.....and of course memories from my halcyon years at Hartwick, 1965-1973......David will be missed more than words can expess. My condolences to you all.....with heart-felt sympathy, Stephen Rice.

Linda H. Herdt

December 23, 2012

Our sincere condolences to Davids family and "Henry" his cat. I shall miss our chats and his witty sense of humor. It was a pleasure knowing him! RIP David, we shall meet again..... one day.
Linda & Staff of CaringWay

Foster Brown

December 23, 2012

Sorry to hear of the passing of David. He was a remarkable man of many talents.
Foster Brown

Marilyn Page

December 22, 2012

Dear Ben, Liz and family,

We are so sorry for your loss.

We enjoyed getting to know your father a little while he was at Sentry Hill; he always had a smile and a happy hello.

Our deepest sympathy,
Marilyn and Glenn Page

Celeste Brown Thomas

December 22, 2012

To the Baldwin family:

Our heartfelt condolences to your family upon the passing of David.

As a childhood friend of his daughter Liza, I remember Mr. Baldwin's gift for eloquent prose, and his elegant bearing. He will be missed. Here's to a full life, and many fond memories.