Lee Baldwin

Obituary of Lee Baldwin

Lee Baldwin of Corning, NY passed away in her sleep on Tuesday, January 10 at the age of 93. She was born and raised in New Martinsville, WV, where a daily swim in the Ohio river was a major activity of her youth. She was involved and committed to 4-H from age 9 to 21, and in 1941 represented West Virginia at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago.

She was a freshman at Bethany College in Wheeling, WV at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was at Bethany that she met her future husband Bill, who was at the college for the V-12 program – a naval training program for officers. At the end of WWII, Bill finished his college degrees, and they came to Corning in 1950 when Bill was offered employment at the then named Corning Glass Works.

Her consuming interest from the early 60's forward was in the Corning Philharmonic Orchestra. She became their President in 1967 and served a two year term. As president, she began reading about the Suzuki method of teaching violin, and learned that Sanford Reuning of Ithaca had a thriving Suzuki violin program. As the president of Corning Philharmonic, she went to Ithaca and observed his program, and subsequently hired Corning's first Suzuki violin teacher, Lorraine Fink. In 1996 she was elected the first President of the combined Corning/Elmira Orchestra.

In the 1970's she became interested in the craft movement that was sweeping the country. In 1970 she opened the Fat Duck craft shop in Big Flats. While managing the craft store, she became overwhelmingly interested in Ceramics, and subsequently built an outstanding collection of contemporary ceramic art.

Following the death of her husband Bill, she began backyard gardening. It became a new passion - she felt spending time in the garden contributed to her longevity.

She was a recipient of the Chemung Valley Arts Council Arts Partnership award in June 1993. And in December she was the recipient of the 2016 S Roberts Rose Achievement Award.

She is survived by three sons, Richard, David, and Charles, two daughters-in-law, Karin and Svetlana, and two grandchildren, Chloe and Skylar.

There will be a reception/memorial held at the Corning Radisson on February 5, 2017 from 1:00pm -3:00pm – all are welcome. Phillips Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 17 W. Pulteney St., Corning has been entrusted with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, 52 W. Market St., Corning, NY 14830 or the Endless Mountain Orchestra, 130 Main St., Wellsboro, PA 16901.