Baldwin, James Edgar Sr.

Retired From DuPont After Many Years And Was Leader In Many Local Organizations

  • Wednesday, December 14, 2022
James Edgar Baldwin, Sr.
James Edgar Baldwin, Sr.

James Edgar Baldwin, Sr. was born on November 4, 1930, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

He was the oldest of nine children born to the union of George Edgar Baldwin and Susie McCallie Baldwin. He attended the public schools of Chattanooga and graduated from Howard High School with First Honor in 1948. Mr. Baldwin was employed by Chattanooga E.I. DuPont company for 42 years. He was a maintenance worker when he began working in 1948 and eventually on Oct. 29, 1962, became the first Black man at the Chattanooga Plant to move into skilled positions. He excelled as a sheet metal worker. James’ ability, and character caught the attention of management who asked him to serve on the Credit Union Board, where he served for over 20 years.

James loved his church, Phillips Temple CME, where he began attending, along with his father when he was four years old. At Phillips Temple, he served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for many years and continued that service at Saint Mary’s CME, a sister church, for years before returning to Phillips Temple.

Mr. Baldwin loved to sing. He was active with Howard High School's Chorus while in high school. In almost any setting where traditional hymns or Negro Spirituals were being sung you could hear him harmonizing in bass. James was active with the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song. Singing with that ensemble, was a real source of pleasure and pride for him. He also sang in Phillips Temple’s choir and St Mary’s choir until mobility became an issue.

James held offices or other leadership positions in many organizations. He was a Golden Heritage member of the N.A.A.C.P., Parliamentarian of Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, 33rd Degree Mason and District Deputy-Grand Master, Emeritus of the M.W. Prince Hall Masons in Chattanooga and South Pittsburgh, Board Chairman of Friendship Haven, Board Secretary of Contact of Southeast TN, Inc., a 24-hour telephone crisis line. He served as Board Treasurer of the Exchange Club of Chattanooga, and Board President of the Progressive Teachers Federal Credit Union of Chattanooga. James, his third wife and best friend, the late Mrs. Lorene R Baldwin, served the Chattanooga community through these organizations, as well as, The Couples Club, and the Carats Club. James and Lorene served and traveled together into their golden years.

Mr. Baldwin began taking classes at UTC in 1973, studying mathematics. Along the way, he changed his major to history and received the university’s Department of History recognition and Highest Honors in 2000, when he graduated at the age of 69. The story of James receiving his BA degree from UTC, made local news.

Mr. Baldwin was preceded in death by his parents George and Susie Baldwin, toddler brother Robert, nephew Leon Patterson, sister Dorothy Patterson, second wife Mrs. Effie Donald Baldwin, daughter Marilynn Gail Baldwin, nephew Ronald Johnson, grandson James Robert Baldwin, former wife Mrs. Doris B Overton Truss, third wife Mrs. Lorene R Baldwin and brother John E Baldwin, Sr.

Memories of his life and time will continue to be celebrated by his children James (Linda) Baldwin, Jr. of Chattanooga and daughter Iris Baldwin Hamilton of East Point, GA. Stepsons Vincent Robinson of Chattanooga and Greg (Demetra) Robinson of Harvest AL. Brother Gilbert (Jan) Baldwin of Ypsilanti MI and sisters Evelyn Johnson also of Ypsilanti MI, Jewell Cousin, Irene Chapman, and Marion Baldwin all of Chattanooga, and Dr. Carolyn (Jesse) Tucker of Nashville. Grandchildren: Jennifer Hamilton Marshall, M.D., Fredrick Duane (Mignon) Hamilton, and Dr Marilyn (a.k.a Lady) Bonita Hamilton all of Atlanta and Jonathan Baldwin of Chattanooga, Step-granddaughter, Alexis Robinson of Harvest AL, five great-grandchildren, two step-great granddaughters, Sister-in-law, Doris Jean Lewis, a host of beloved nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, dear friends and church family.

A public viewing will be held at John P. Franklin between 2 and 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. All other services will be held at Phillips Temple CME Church, 1321 N. Moore Road on Saturday, Dec. 17. Alpha Phi Alpha – Omega Service at 9 a.m., Masonic Lodge of Sorrow at 10 a.m., Public Viewing at 11 a.m., Funeral Service at noon.

Interment will be at Lakewood-East followed by repast at Phillips Temple CME Church.

Live streaming of the funeral service can be seen on Pastor Robert Henry’s Facebook Page or https://www.facebook.com/phillips-temple-cme-church-745314945511377/b

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