Thomas Howard Baldridge
- January 7, 2023
Thomas Howard Baldridge
Thomas Howard Baldridge, 92, died on Jan. 3, 2023. The cause was complications of dementia.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, with Father Stephen Witt officiating. A light reception will follow the service. Tom donated his body to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program.
He was born on May 30, 1930, and when he was young, always thought that the Memorial Day parades were in his honor. His life was changed forever when his father, Dr. Clarence Baldridge, died in a car accident, leaving four-year-old Tom, his three older siblings, and his mother Ada Buck Baldridge behind. He attended City High School and the University of Iowa, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Art in French.
He enrolled in ROTC and joined the U.S. Army in 1952, serving until 1954. He served in the Korean War and was a 1st lieutenant at discharge. His experience there led him to be a life-long activist for peace and international understanding. As a member of Veterans for Peace, he joined others in a weekly vigil for years on the Pentacrest, until the COVID-19 pandemic made that activity too risky in 2020.
After his military experience, he joined the Foreign Service, serving in Switzerland, Algeria and Laos, before returning to the United States. A life-long Democrat, he joined the Edward Mezvinsky campaign for Congress and ultimately joined his staff, working in his office in Iowa City. This international work strongly influenced his work as Executive Director of the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities and the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.
Tom served as an usher at St Mary’s Church, rising early every Sunday for years to unlock the doors for Mass. He worked on St. Mary’s Peace and Justice Commission to award grants to reduce global poverty and inequities. His community activities included Friends of Historic Preservation, and he worked hard to save Old Brick and ultimately worked for United Way in that building. He was an avid Hawkeye fan.
He is survived by his sister, Barbara; and numerous nieces and nephews; including his Iowa City family, Ann Broderick, Stanley Perlman and their children, Neal, Claire and Davy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Baldridge and Ada Buck Baldridge; sister, Patricianne; brother, Richard; and nephew, Michael Slaughter.
In lieu of flowers, Tom would ask you to vote (preferably for Democrats) and donate to any of these favorite groups: Friends of Historic Preservation, Veterans for Peace, St Mary’s Peace and Justice Commission, Iowa City Foreign Relations Council or Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, now known as Global Ties Iowa.
The family would like to thank the VA Medical Center, where he was warmly and expertly treated for 20 years.
Online condolences may be shared at www.lensingfuneral.com.