LeRoy D. (Lee) Baldwin passed away May 28, 2012 with his family by his side. Lee was born Sept. 10, 1928 in The Dalles, Ore., the fifth of six children born to Ayne Reuben Baldwin and Marcelle Servais Ball. Lee grew up in Portland, Ore. At age seventeen he joined the Merchant Marines and was on one of the first ships into Japan after the war. At nineteen, he joined the Army and served in Korea just prior to the start of the Korean War. While visiting in Centralia, he went to the Rollerdrome one evening where he met Rosemary Cluzel and put an end to his world traveling. They were married at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Centralia on Nov. 26, 1955. They purchased their home in Centralia in 1962 where they raised their three sons, and for a while, three of their grandsons. Lee was a man of talents. There wasn't anything he couldn't build or fix. He was a master carpenter and a superb mechanic. If it didn't exist, he would invent it and it usually worked great.
Lee was an avid motorcyclist, competing in and winning many, many events, including a Regional TT Championship. He briefly owned two motorcycle shops, before going into business as owner-operator of Baldwin Freight Company from which he retired in 1992. Lee's love was his family of which he was very proud. His oldest grandson, Matthew named him Bopp, and Bopp he was to all of his grandchildren and to their friends as well. He was involved in their school and sport activities, and enjoyed teaching them carpentry, mechanics, boating, fishing, golf, motorcycling, etc. He was the rock they could all depend on for any kind of support. He was proud that his ancestors came over on the Mayflower and he was a member of the Washington State Society of Mayflower Descendants.
He is survived by Rosemary, his wife of 56 years, his three sons, Gary (Sue) Baldwin, Steven Baldwin, and Brian (Renee) Baldwin of Centralia, ten grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and by his brother Max Ball of Portland, and sister Marie Cogdell of Centralia. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Russell, Ted and Tony Ball and his grandson Chance Baldwin.
There will be a potluck gathering at the Fords Prairie Grange, Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. to celebrate Lee's time with us.