Eugene A. "Gene" Baldi, Jr.

  • Born: June 20, 1928
  • Died: June 14, 2021
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Robinson Funeral Home

809 Main Street
Melrose, MA 02176
Tel. (781) 665-1900

Tribute & Message From The Family

Eugene A. "Gene" Baldi, Jr., of Northborough, and formerly of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 14, 2021. He was nearly 93.

Born in Malden on June 20, 1928, the oldest of five children of the late Eugene A. and Florence (Butler) Baldi, Sr. He got his first job at fourteen, as a milkman's helper, on a horse drawn wagon delivering for Hood's. He worked a commercial route in the financial district of Boston and would tell the story of carrying ten-gallon milk cans, one in each hand, up two flights of narrow stairs to Durgin Park's kitchen. He would eventually work his way up to milkman, with his own wagon, pulled by a team of Percheron draft horses. His day would start at 3:00am hitching the horses and loading the wagon. He lamented the day that Hood's did away with the wagons and switched to trucks because the horses knew the route and would stop on their own at each shop, allowing him to sleep between stops. When he got the truck he had to stay awake for the entire route. He was the last Hood's Milkman to use a horse drawn wagon.

In 1945, as a sixteen-year-old, he tried to enlist in the Marine Corps and was told he was too young and that he should try the Merchant Marines "because they'll take anybody". So, a month later, just after his seventeenth birthday, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines, the branch of service that suffered the highest casualty rate of World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater, ferrying supplies and munitions to far flung ports such as Saipan, Kwajalein, Leyte, and Saigon. Exotic names that would stay with him forever.

With his wartime service having interrupted his high school education, he returned after the war and finished by going to school at night, while working days. He went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Business from Northeastern University, and a Master in Banking from Northwestern University. After leaving Hood's he owned a restaurant in Boston, and worked as a regional manager for Brigham's, before settling on a career as a Federal Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve. After his retirement from the Fed, he became a Mortgage Broker and worked closely with noted sports agent Bob Woolf. Sports celebrities became a part of his life during this time.

Despite his urban upbringing and business education, he was a farmer at heart. In 1958 he and his wife Elsie, bought a farm in Epsom New Hampshire where the family would spend summers growing vegetables and raising pigs, sheep, and cows. All the while Gene would commute to Boston for work on weekdays. Throughout his life there was always a vegetable garden at their home in Melrose.

In his later years he dedicated his time and energy to volunteer service with organizations such as Bread of Life, and the Masons. He would collect recyclable cans, for years driving through Melrose on his daily "can route" and donate the proceeds to The First Lutheran Church of Malden. He even convinced the City of Melrose to put out a separate collection barrel at the City's recycling yard, labelled "Gene's Cans", which he emptied daily.

Gene dearly loved his family and was devoted to his wife Elsie. He was exceptionally active in all their lives. He instilled love, warmth, fun, hard work, and the importance of helping others in need by donating either time, talent, or financial support.

Lessons he taught will live on through those he touched. He will be deeply missed.

Gene was the beloved husband of the late Elsie M. (Elo) Baldi with whom he shared nearly 70 years of marriage. Devoted father of John Baldi and his wife Cathy of Melrose, Peter Baldi and his wife Donna of Sarasota, FL, Nancy Ahrabi-Nejad and her husband Arman of Northborough, Jeannie Rahilly of Bethel, ME, and the late David Baldi. Dear Brother of Florence Wall and her husband Frank of Methuen, and the late Edward and Paul Baldi, and Pauline Simkin. Loving grandfather of Sonia Vedral, Nadine Maffei, Corrine Ahrabi-Nejad, Eric Baldi, Melissa Baldi, John Baldi, Andrew Baldi, Sean Rahilly, and Alissa Rice. He is also survived by 9 great-grandchildren.

Relatives & friends are invited to gather in honor of Eugene's life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Friday, June 18 from 4-8pm, and for his Graveside Service at Wyoming Cemetery, 205 Sylvan St., Melrose on Saturday at 10:30am. If you are attending the Graveside Service, please meet at the Sylvan Street entrance of the cemetery at 10:15am, and await the procession. Military Honors will be presented by the US Navy. A collation will be held following the Committal Prayers.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Eugene's memory may be made to First Lutheran Church, 98 Waite St., Malden MA 02148, or a charity of your choice.