Rose Weld Baldwin died peacefully in her own home on March 6, 2013, on Bourne Point, Wareham, Massachusetts. She was 95 years old and lucid up to her last day.
Rose was born on August 18, 1917, to Katharine Saltonstall and Philip Balch Weld in Tuxedo Park, New York. After her grandfather, Civil War general Stephen Minot Weld, died in 1920 the family moved to the 52-acre Rockweld estate in Dedham, Massachusetts, designed by her grandfather, with help from Frederick Law Olmsted (the estate is now owned and managed by MIT). The estate was famous for having one of the country’s first and finest rock gardens. She was the third child in a family of six children. In addition to Rockweld, Rose enjoyed spending weeks every summer at General Weld’s Wareham estate, overlooking Buzzards Bay.
When still a young girl Rose and her family moved from Dedham to New York City, where she attended the then-experimental Horace Mann School and later the Brearley School before leaving to board at Milton Academy, from which she graduated in 1935. After completing a year’s study in Italy at the Villa Collina Ridente, in Florence, she was married to Ian Baldwin of Mount Kisco, New York, in 1937. In 1952, with four young sons to raise, Rose became school librarian and then an English teacher at the Harvey School, now in Katonah, New York, which all her sons attended. She retired as Director of the Lower School in 1973. In 2009 the Harvey School gave Rose its Distinguished Service Award for her many contributions to that institution.
As a full-time resident of Wareham in the 1970s, Rose was elected twice to the town’s school board and for decades was active in community service on behalf of the Church of the Good Shepherd. An avid gardener, following her grandfather’s Stephen Minot Weld’s lead, she was also an enthusiastic lifelong sailor on Buzzards Bay and a passionate golfer from her teens on. For 52 years she was a member of Marion, Massachusetts’s famous Kittansett Club, cofounded by her uncle Rudolph Weld, and she won several tournaments there, as late as her 90th year. At the end of her life she also shot a hole-in-one twice, a golfer’s dream. She loved music and for many decades was a subscriber to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, whose Friday afternoon concerts she attended until age 94.
Rosie (as she was known to friends) was energetic, large-hearted, and beloved by a wide variety of people, young and old, neighbors, family, parishioners, and all who encountered her. She was an impeccable lady with a great sense of humor, dignity, and a unique blend of practical common sense and savoir-faire. She took an intense, empathic interest in the lives and vicissitudes of many.
On March 15, 2013, Reminiscences, a book-length memoir written in her last year and edited by her granddaughter Sarah Baldwin, will be privately published.
She is survived by her sister Katharine Weld Bacon of Alexandria, Virginia; her four sons and their wives, Ian and Margo Preston Baldwin of South Strafford, Vermont; Michael and Margherita Bailey Baldwin of Marion, Massachusetts; Howard Lapsley and Karen Mulvihill Baldwin of Kennebunkport, Maine; and Philip Weld Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg of Paris, France, as well as by twelve grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service on April 6 at 11 a.m. at Tabor Academy’s Wickenden Chapel in Marion, Massachusetts.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in her name to the Church of the Good Shepherd, P.O. Box 719, Wareham, MA 02571; Tobey Hospital, 43 High St., Wareham, MA 02571; or Planned Parenthood, 1055 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215.
Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham. To leave a message of condolence, please visit: www.ccgfuneralhome.com