Former MTU trustee leaves lasting legacy

The city of Marquette — and the Michigan Tech community — was handed a blow earlier this week when word came of the unexpected death of Marquette Mayor Tom Baldini.

Baldini passed away Tuesday after suffering a stroke over the weekend.

Baldini was appointed to the MTU Board by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2009. He served on the board from January 2010 through December 2016.

Of his time on the board, Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz said Baldini “never wavered from his focus that student success was the key to Michigan Tech’s future as well as Michigan and the nation’s future. He was a good friend who will be missed.”

Baldini was elected mayor of Marquette in November. He previously was elected to the Marquette City Commission in 2014.

However, he was much more than a city official as his many friends and colleagues will tell you. In fact, former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard called him a “walking advocate and ambassador” for the Upper Peninsula.

Baldini taught government and economics at Marquette Senior High School from 1965-83, later becoming assistant to the superintendent for finances and personnel.

In fact, Baldini’s accomplishments are too numerous to include in this small space, but they range from being district director for former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, First Congressional District of Michigan, to serving as the U.S. representative of the U.S. and Canadian Boundary Commission.

Baldini also was active with the Economic Club of Marquette County, recently serving as program chairman.

Many people would have been long retired at age 74, which was Baldini’s age. It appeared, though, he still had too much to achieve.

For a person obviously as interested and committed to the community as Baldini, there was much work to be done. So, his untimely passing leaves a huge void in the Marquette community.

However, his service can serve as an example to everyone. As U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, put it, Baldini’s legacy is a “lasting reminder to all of us of what it means to serve.”

To be a true public servant, that person has to be committed to the betterment of the community, regardless of pay or recognition. The accomplishments matter the most, and Baldini’s impact — from teaching a high schooler to serving on an international commission — will be felt long after his death.

We salute Baldini’s dedication and commitment, and hope others follow in his footsteps. That’s surely what he would have wanted.

Daily Mining Gazette and Mining Journal (Marquette)