Transportation 20

Bernard "Bernie" L. Baldwin, Jr

April 1, 1959 ~ February 8, 2022 (age 62)

Obituary

Bernie “Bud” Baldwin, Jr. 

Bernie L. Baldwin, 62, of Holland, MA passed away on Tuesday, February 8th, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Showing the true grit of John Wayne, whom he admired, Bernie wouldn’t take any pain medication until the night before he died. Similarly, someone reaching this stage of prostate cancer might be expected to leave the world quietly.  Bernie, however, requested that a large gathering be held at his home, just two days prior to his passing. His family and friends were invited.  He spoke to each individual in the large group, offering his gratitude for their love and friendship.  He knew this would be his final goodbye, and in usual Bernie fashion, wanted to make sure everyone knew how much they had meant to him. He also asked to be baptized on this day, a ceremony which his niece Crystal performed, and his friends and family were able to bear witness to his faith.

He was the oldest of 6 children born to Bernard Sr. (deceased) and Claire (Dudley) Baldwin on April 1, 1959.  He grew up in Barre and took his role as the eldest sibling seriously.  The younger sisters and brothers quickly learned that Bernie was more apt to keep them in line than even their parents were. Staying true to the morals and values he instilled in his siblings, he raised his own family in the same fashion:  be honest, work hard, and always put family first.

This, for Bernie, began when he was just 14 years old and went to work at a local sawmill with his father and brothers to ensure the large family had what they needed.  It continued for the next 42 years of employment at Flexcon in Spencer, MA as a Lead Machine Operator, officially retiring just days before his passing.  He is said to have had an “outstanding work ethic”: he worked as long and hard as necessary to get the job done, and also made sure the work was done well.  In all of those years, Bernie missed only a handful of days.  Once he even drove to work and clocked in for several hours after falling on the ice outside of his home, and insisted he was fine– until he was urged to get x-rays that determined he had broken his leg. 

His honesty and integrity were evident in his everyday life.  He treated others with dignity and respect and because of that earned the respect of everyone he met.  When hard at work, he led by example and believed that anything worth doing was worth doing well - no matter how long that took.  If Bernie was asked how long something was going to take, he would quickly respond that it “would be done when it was done.”  In his community, he had a key to most of the cottages on the lake because the owners knew they could count on him to take care of their homes in the off months.  And they could, without a doubt, do just that. His personality allowed for him to be immediately trustworthy and his actions certainly backed that up.

The simplest pleasures in life were the ones that brought Bernie the most joy.  One of these pleasures was riding his motorcycle; for which one short ride became the scenario to Bernie starring in his own love story, beginning an everlasting relationship with his true soulmate, Pebbles Carson.  Together they began a journey of integrating their two families consisting of 8 children.  For the next 17 years they would enjoy a lifetime of bliss that included some of the other simple pleasures they enjoyed together such as boating, snowmobiling, motorcycle riding, camping, and kitchen floor dancing.  In the summer months, nothing seemed to make Bernie happier than time spent at their home on Hamilton Reservoir – both on the lake or poolside, hosting cookouts for family and friends.  The one thing that may have made him happier than simply spending time in these locations, actually, was blasting the kids around in an inner tube on the lake, taking great care to ensure he sent them sailing off by whipping his craft around at top speed.  Once successfully launching them through the air and into the water, his boisterous laugh could be heard in all of Holland, referring to the person launched as such a “meatball.”

Another area in which Bernie was happy to revel in a win was that of playing horseshoes with his brothers.  Not only was he apt to have a ringer or two in any given game, his brothers knew he was in it to win it, and that they would be “busting each other's chops” until the next game.  Taking a relaxing bike ride together was all they could do to quiet him down after the win and something that they all enjoyed doing together.

When Bernie wasn’t spending time with his family, he enjoyed tinkering around with any small engine repairs.  Fixing tractors, snowblowers, and anything else that may need a repair was something that he found very relaxing.  Although he could not carry a tune, he could be heard singing his favorite Bob Seger songs such as “Old Time Rock and Roll,” or a favorite of Pebbles and Bernie’s, “Like a Rock,”  while working in his garage on any little task because it wasn’t time to sit down until the sun went down.

Bernie was a great listener, quick witted, and had the patience of a saint; with an innate ability to make sure you felt like the most important person in the world while in his presence.  Most were greeted with a “hey, kid” and a hug or handshake, and it was the most genuine greeting you would ever get. Even if he had to give you his well known “left eyebrow lift” because you had said or done something he may be questioning, he did it in a loving manner and was quick to move on to a great conversation about Harley's or bald eagles - both of which he could talk about for hours.

In this sense, he lived life to the fullest in the short time we were blessed to have him.  He will be forever missed by the love of his life, Pebbles and their children Brad Baldwin and fiance Jen Lowell of Holland, Josh Baldwin and his partner Laura Scheffler of Sturbridge, Ashley Mazzone of Warren, Nick Mazzone and his fiance Rachael Gourley of Brookfield, Joseph Mazzone and his wife Jessica of Oxford, Tess Mazzone, Isabel Mazzone and her fiance Timothy Rae, and Samuel Carson, all of Holland, MA, his mother, Claire (Dudley) Baldwin, his sisters Tina Curylo and her husband Steve of Ware and Tammy Baldwin and her fiance Sean Walsh of Chicopee, his brothers, Russell Baldwin and his wife Barbara of Oxford, David Baldwin and his wife Judy of Rindge, NH, and Craig Baldwin and his wife Alicia of Hardwick, 14 grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends Chris Jordan and Teri Marble, his best friend John Robbins, and the Carson family.

Calling hours will be held Sunday, February 13, 2022 from 1-3 pm at Sansoucy Funeral Home, 40 Marcy Street, Southbridge, MA 01550.

The family is planning a memorial for Bernie in the spring.  In lieu of flowers, you may dedicate a donation to a charity near and dear to Bernie: St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or at https://www.stjude.org/give/memorials-and-dedications.html

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Sunday
February 13, 2022

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Sansoucy Funeral Home
40 Marcy Street
Southbridge, MA 01550

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