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Henry Baldwin, 91, Tuskegee airman, school administrator

January 6, 2018 GMT

Henry Baldwin, a Tuskegee Airman and retired administrator for the School District of Philadelphia, died on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. He was 91.

He was born on Aug. 28, 1926, in Asheville, N.C., but lived in Philadelphia since he was several months old. This is where he began his educational journey and graduated from Simon Gratz High School.

He was nurtured in a Christian home where church attendance was a family activity and priority. He accepted Christ in his teens.

Baldwin enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to graduating from high school and became a pilot during World War II. He was called to active duty upon graduation and successfully completed his training. At age 19, he became one of the Tuskegee Airmen, graduating as a pilot and commissioned officer.

He married the late Nevada Neal in 1947 and seven children were born to their union. They were married for 65 years prior to her passing in February 2013.

After his active service tour, Baldwin matriculated at Drexel Institute of Technology and became employed as a structural designer. After 12 years in the industry, he was employed by the Philadelphia school district as a teacher of design and drafting.

He then matriculated at Temple University. For the next 33 years, he taught design and drafting, coached football and track and served on the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Baldwin was an administrator for 13 years before retiring in 1993.

At Temple University, he received his bachelor’s degree, a master of education degree and became a doctoral candidate. During his tenure as a school district administrator, he was also an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Temple University for 10 years.

He was called to the ministry and became a member of Adonai Baptist Church. He served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon and was licensed as a Baptist minister in 1996. He became a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Penllyn, where he served as a seminary pastoral intern.

Baldwin entered Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1995 and graduated in 1999 with a master of divinity degree.

He was ordained in 1999 by the Philadelphia Baptist Association of the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. He then served as an associate minister until 2001, when he was appointed interim pastor at Miller Memorial Baptist Church.

Baldwin was a graduate of Manna Bible Institute and acquired a Ph.D. from Eastern Seminary.

He was preceded in death by his wife; siblings, Daniel, Joseph, Isaac, Deloris, Catherine and Bernice; daughters-in-law, Lucinda and Lisa; and son-in-law, Matthew.

He is survived by: his siblings, Doris, Eva and Frederick; children, Gerald, Thomas (Paula), Richard, Karen (James Webb Sr.), Michael (Tina), Beverly and Michelle; 20 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Services were held Thursday at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 712 Penllyn Pike.