Michael Poole Baldwin

obit michael baldwinVERO BEACH, FLA.Michael Poole Baldwin, who called Maine home for much of his life, died Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, of natural causes at Vero Beach, Fla. He had been living, where he was happiest, by the sea. He was 54. Before his death, he took pride in his volunteer work in a local sailing program and enjoyed some quality time crewing aboard a yacht.

Michael was predeceased by his parents, Roger and Mary Baldwin of Lincoln, Mass., and Little Cranberry Island He is survived by his sister, Letitia Baldwin, her husband, Bentley Howard of Gouldsboro Point, and their twin daughters, Blue and Skye; as well as his former wife, Ruth Baldwin of Eddington.

As a boy, Michael spent many happy times shooting skeet at the Maynard Rod & Gun Club in Maynard, Mass. He was an avid fisherman whether jigging for mackerel from Little Cranberry’s Islesford Dock or angling for salmon in Scotland’s Spean River while working there one summer in his teens. His love of the outdoors took him on many other adventures including ice-climbing in Montana, partridge hunting in the Maine woods and a trans-Atlantic passage as crew aboard a Morris yacht.

Born in Chicago, Ill., Michael grew up in a close-knit community of paternal relatives in the city’s Near North Side. He attended the Chicago Latin School until 1968, when his family moved to Massachusetts There, he attended The Fenn School in Concord, Mass., and was among the second generation of his paternal family to attend St. Marks School in Southborough, Mass. He went on to study forestry at the University of Montana at Missoula.

A constant in his life were summers on Little Cranberry where the late Andrew “Junior” and Eleanor Stanley were like surrogate grandparents to him. He felt privileged to have known Arthur “Chummy” Spurling, Francis Fernald, Leeman Ham and Ted Spurling Sr. and treasured hearing their lively stories often told in the wharf office.

A love of the island spurred Michael to make the greater Mount Desert Island area his permanent home in the 1980s. He worked in different capacities at many local boatyards from Island Woodworking and the John Williams Boat Co. to Able Marine and The Hinckley Co. At home, he was an excellent cook baking biscuits and pies from scratch. He had a knack for cultivating citrus trees. He also refinished furniture, enjoyed blues and jazz music, wrote poetry and was a great reader.

“Mike” will be missed by nieces, Blue and Skye; his sister, Letitia; his former wife, Ruth; and old friend, Andrew Dewey, of Jonesboro.

A memorial service will be held next summer on Little Cranberry where he will be buried. Contributions in his memory may be made to the island’s nonprofit sailing program LCYC (Community Sailing and Education Foundation), c/o Jenny Bright, 840 Micheltorena St., Los Angeles, CA 90026. Or, the Great Cranberry Island Historical Society, P.O. Box 12, Great Cranberry Island, ME 04625.

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