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

mail@robinsonfuneralhome.com
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.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Jean, Sean & Alissa and the Baldi family.
Very sorry for your loss. Know I am thinking of you all. What a full life he had, he was a blessed man.

Posted by Judie Fairneny (Rahilly) - Melrose, MA - Family   June 26, 2021

My Condolences to the whole Baldi Family. I will never forget Gene, what a wonderful and generous man.
I met Gene later in life and was just amazed at how much he did for everyone else. He was always positive,energetic and giving. I truly feel blessed to consider him a friend

Posted by Ken Hinchey - Melrose, MA - Friend   June 25, 2021

I have lost a good friend. Gene would often come to my mother's house (Marion Ewell) to visit. While I was taking care of her, he became my friend as well. He did so much for my mother after she had her leg amputated. He found her a hospital bed, brought it in with one of his daughters-in-law and put it together. After my mother had a stroke in 2017 and had to go to Bear Hill Nursing Home, he would call me all the time to go with me to see her. I would take him once a week to Bear Hill. The last person she spoke to was Gene. She called him a very good friend and he was. He loved going to McDonald's in Wakefield for coffee and we would go every few weeks. Gene loved talking about Elsie, his family and his life. I have missed him the past two years. He now is rest with Elsie.

Posted by Joanne Runne - Lynn, MA - Friend   June 19, 2021

He was a wonderful friend to all of us at the Retired Men's Club. We will miss him

Al Sachs

Posted by Alan Sachs - Wakefield, Massachusetts, MA - Friend   June 17, 2021

On behalf of The Retired Men's Club of Wakefield, I wish to offer our sincere condolences to Gene's family and many friends. Gene was a long time and very faithful member of the club and will be missed by the early arrivals with whom he had many happy conversations over coffee and doughnuts. May he rest in peace for he has deserved it after a life of service.

Posted by Jack O'Leary - Wakefield, MA - Friend   June 16, 2021

To al the Baldi Family and Siblings i send my sincere sympathy to all of you i met Gene true the Retirements Club in Wakefield Gene was a very special person devoted to his beloved wife of 70 years he showed her Photo at every meeting she was his whole life he was a rare person honest sincere caring and a wonderful person 24-7 i was the Coffee and Don-out server at the meeting with help from all the members.I used to pick him up but he never answered the door bell. felt bad leaving him but he would show up later my Family want to thank him for his devotion to God and his Country. R.I.P Eugene with your Elsie.

Posted by Ray Prendergast - WAKEFIELD, MA - Friend   June 16, 2021

Love you grampy, we know you're at peace being back with grammy.

Posted by Alissa Rahilly - Andover, MA - Grandchild   June 16, 2021

Nancy, My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Your Dad was an amazing man and lived a beautiful life.

Posted by Laura Maffei - North Bergen, NJ   June 16, 2021

John, Jeannie, Peter and Nancy - I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. I will always remember him. When I was a young girl, he would always greet me at church and ask when we were getting married (and give me a hug that would nearly squeeze the air out of me). He was a long time friend to our entire family, but his friendly visits to my mom during her final months of life will always stick with me. May you find comfort recalling the lifetime of memories spent with him. Nancy, thank you for all you did for and with him during these COVID times. I am sure you prolonged his life. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by Lila Brickley - Woburn, MA - Family Friend   June 15, 2021


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