Father John Francis Baldwin

Father John Baldwin, 85, passed away on April 1, 2019, in Auburn, Calif. He was born in Chicago, Ill., to John and Marie Baldwin. He is survived by his sister Genevieve Sudges, brother Thomas Baldwin and wife Nancy along with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

He was a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary; with bachelor and master’s degrees from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., and a masters in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Father John was ordained as a Catholic priest by the Archbishop of Chicago, on May 7, 1959.

After serving parishes in the Chicago area, Father John entered active duty in the United States Navy in 1968. During his career in the Navy, he served as chaplain in many capacities and locations, including San Diego; two deployments in Vietnam; Lakehurst, N.J.; Okinawa, Japan; Alameda; Norfolk, Va.; Newport, R.I.; Treasure Island; Iwakuni, Japan; London, England; and Monterey, Calif. He received numerous awards and decorations. 

Perhaps the most important aspect of his service and associated travels was comforting U.S. troops and helping men and women access God in the most difficult circumstances. He retired from the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps as a Captain in 1995.

As a well-traveled man of God, Father John was a true conversationalist who cared deeply about religion, family and history. The only thing he liked more than telling stories was hearing them. Family and friends were a priority and he made every effort to bring people together, understand their history and encourage them to chart their future. 

Family meals began by gathering in a circle to join in prayer followed with a song accompanied by him at the piano. He traveled regularly to Chicago and Ireland to visit family and friends.

A funeral mass will be held this Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m., St. Philip Neri Church, 3101 Van Buren St.