Marilyn Wood Baldwin, age 92 of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, passed away on Friday, July 9, 2021, at Sycamore Estate in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. She was born December 15, 1928, in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, also known as “Boyd Hill” to the late Percy “Sonny” Woods and Birdie Mae Woods Lodkey. She relocated to Duquesne, Pennsylvania at an early age and was reared by her grandparents, the late Rev. William Woods and Sarah Winbush Woods. The oldest of 11 children, she was preceded in death by her loving husband, Eugene Baldwin; sister, Myrtle Hampton of California; and two brothers: Charles Lodkey of Pittsburgh, PA and Franklin O. Lodkey of Wilmerding, PA.
Marilyn was the sister of Eva (Clarence) Williams of Denver, CO; Barbara J. Freeman (late James) of Jefferson Hills, PA; Vera (Dave) Burke of Monroeville, PA: Bhavananda Lodkey-Dekker (JanJaap Dekker) of Santa Cruz, CA; Joseph A. Lodkey of San Francisco, CA; and Doris Eleanor Lodkey of Monroeville, PA.
She was the mother of Faith Baldwin Bray (late Frederick A. Bray Sr.); and the love of her life, granddaughter Felicia Danita Bray. She also was an inspiration to the children that she adored: the late Betty Hughes Corbett, Beverly Hughes Knight (late Adolphus), Marva (Lewis) Haynes and John “Sonny” Hughes; “Special” Grandsons: Elder Leslie E. Sandidge and Vernon “VJ” Cox Jr. She also was the godmother to Kim (Vaughn) Newberry; Marilyn Cotton; Dolores B. Sandidge; and Sidney Rae Eugene Tennon.
Marilyn attended and graduated from Duquesne High School in 1946. She graduated from Duff’s Iron City Business College, Pittsburgh, PA in 1948. She furthered her education by attending Gary College and Indiana University Extension in Gary, Indiana from 1948-1950. She was employed by Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, and retired in 1989 as an Administrative Secretary to Dr. Charles E. Copeland, Chief of General Surgery for 20 years. She also found time to share her musical talents and taught many children for years giving private piano lessons in her home. She was an active member of Jerusalem Baptist Church where her grandparents, the late Rev. William Woods and Sarah Winbush Woods (Mother of the Church) founded. She served as a Sunday school teacher, church pianist, and choir director for many years and served in any capacity at the church where her services were needed.
She also shared her musical talents in the following churches: former church organist at St. John’s Church in Dravosburg; Hope United Methodist Church and Riverview Baptist Church, both of McKeesport. Until her health declined, she was the organist at Amity Presbyterian Church of Dravosburg where the amazing and caring Pastor Gary Molinaro and the wonderful people that loved and embraced her in a very special way while she was there.
She loved her community and being involved with the people. She served in the following organizations was a Board Member of the McKeesport Heritage Center, McKeesport La Rosa Boys & Girls Club, McKeesport Meals on Wheels Publicity Chairwoman; and McKeesport Music Club Board where she served as Vice President and Scholarship Chairwoman. She also served with the McKeesport/White Oak Kiwanis Club and was a Past President of the West Mifflin AARP #2170, Past President of the McKeesport YWCA Board, Past President of the Early Bird Bowling League of West Mifflin and the Duquesne Dukes Bowling League, Former member Church Women United of McKeesport and Former member and Publicity Chairwoman of McKeesport Symphony, Ladies Auxiliary. She was also past president of the Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society of Duquesne; former member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. servings as Eastern Regional Director: 1969-1973; Past president of the Dravosburg Lioness Club; first president of the Valley Voices Chorale Group of McKeesport; former board member of McKeesport Symphony Society; former board member of MonYough Friendship Club; and a former member M. V. Prillerman Elks of Duquesne.
Marilyn W. Baldwin was the First African American woman to be elected Lt. Governor, Pennsylvania District Kiwanis International; received Soror of the Year, Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Pi Chapter 1949; AARP Awardee, Community Services 1992; Recipient Fellow George F. Hixson from Kiwanis International; received a 25 year Plaque in 1993 for services from the Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society, Duquesne, PA; and Former Editor of the Jr. Society New Column of the Pittsburgh Courier from 1942-1946 and also published a column in the Courier about society and religious events in the Mon Valley area for many years.
A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Prabhat Seth for all the assistance you provided to us to get the process started. Without your help, we kept hitting obstacle after obstacle. Many thanks to Carol Moore, owner of Sycamore Estate, and Staff for your kindness, your patience, your love, and your compassion. You all were amazing.
To Suncrest Hospice Center, Monroeville, PA, and staff. You all were loving and showed us such compassion and concern. You made the transition very smooth for all of us.
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