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Daniel Baldwin

August 18, 1951 - October 30, 2021
Traverse City, MI

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Life Story / Obituary


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Daniel Richard Baldwin, 70, of Traverse City, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Saturday, October 30, 2021.

He was born on August 18, 1951 in Detroit the son of Henry John and Shirley Ann (Anderson) Baldwin.

Dan graduated from Petoskey, High School in 1969 and attended North Central Michigan College, Western Michigan University and Northwestern Michigan College.

He was the General Manager of the Waterfront Inn Hotel, a Realtor for Real Estate One and a Loan Originator for Midwest Mortgage.

He started as Treasurer for Traverse Mortgage Corporation in 1991, then became the company’s President in 1994. Gail Chambers shares her time and his career, “Dan and I met back in 1985 when he began his career in mortgage lending. We worked together in the same office. Little did I know what lie ahead. Six years later we decided to start our own mortgage company. I remember pacing up and down State Street with him while we labored over exactly how we were going to do this and what it would look like. It was a huge leap of faith for both of us! Dan and I along with Rick Ingersoll started Traverse Mortgage Corporation on 11/1/1991. Dan and I took sole ownership about three years later. We agreed Dan would be the “President”. Dan did an amazing job heading up our company. He was such a smart man. And very good with numbers. Dan was the most trustworthy man on this planet. And the most caring. We ran our company for about 17 years until we sold to Traverse City State Bank in 2008 which was a very big decision for us. Again I remember driving around the block with him while we labored over whether or not we should do that. It turned out to be a great decision. Dan remained in his leadership role there until he retired, December 2014. I can’t begin to give him enough credit for all he did. Together we built a great company that launched careers for many who are still in the business to this day. Dan was the angel on my shoulder.

We were able to do so much for people. We made sure to help provide for those in need whenever we could. We made food baskets every Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was always so gratifying for our employees to be involved in. It was a whole process that everyone could feel good about.

There were random financial gifts to people struggling with medical or other challenges. We gave generously whenever we could.

We had the good fortune to share our profits with our employees very generously at Christmas. We loved to spoil our employees. We were like a big family. Dan loved to laugh and have fun. We celebrated everything we could.

There is so much I could share! Beyond all, Dan blessed every person he came in contact with by his genuine interest in them and showing that he really cared. Dan poured his whole heart into the success of others.

He has forever changed the lives of many. Especially me!!!”

Dan volunteered with DivorceCare, Michael’s Place, GriefShare, Love and Respect Marriage Courses, Habitat for Humanity and the National Association of Realtors.

Dan volunteered at Michael’s Place for six years as a bereavement support group facilitator. He impacted hundreds of lives with his gentle kindness and compassionate heart. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Dan brought GriefShare, a faith-based bereavement support group, to Michael’s Place and continued to bring healing to those in our community grieving the death of a loved one. At the onset of COVID, Dan understood the significant need to continue to provide support and volunteered to facilitate virtual support groups until in-person groups were possible. Through his thoughtful presence, he helped turn the despair of the bereaved into hope. Michael’s Place will always be thankful Dan became a part of our family, and he leaves us a legacy of faith in action and compassionate care of all, shared Mindy Buell, Executive Director.

Dan was a seven-year board member at Habitat for Humanity and served as president and past president. Dan led Habitat through our development and construction of the award-winning Net-Zero Depot Neighborhood. He also chaired our ReStore relocation committee and was essential in the success of our ReStore move. Dan was an active member of our homeowner services selection committee, sharing his extensive wisdom in mortgage lending until the time of his passing. Because of his exemplary service and leadership, Dan Baldwin was named our “Volunteer of the Year in 2018.” Habitat Executive Director Wendy Irvin said, “Beyond his titles and devotion to Habitat-GTR, Dan was our friend, encourager, prayer warrior, supporter and confidant. He guided us with discernment and faith. His welcoming, calm demeanor and open-mindedness helped to derive many solutions through the years, both personally and professionally.” Current Habitat Board President Doug DeYoung wrote, “Dan was a huge champion for our organization. He was a strong leader; I really learned from him and admired him during the years we shared on the board. His leadership and thoughtfulness for the organization will be deeply missed.”

His hobbies were woodworking, gardening, birding, hiking, golf and cards. On Tuesday’s and Saturday’s the last couple of years, Dan played cards with his wife, Marlene and mother-in-law, Chris, which he called “Sandbag Sally.” He would lovingly refer to the card games as his weekly Chaffin Girls Beating.

Mike McDonald shared, “Dan Baldwin was a member of the Tuesday morning Men’s Golf League at Elmbrook Golf Course for the last six years. Dan was a great addition to our league and was always enjoyable to play with on Tuesdays. While he took his golf seriously, Dan was always even tempered and a model of sportsmanship. He always finished in the top half of his flight and this year, after a rocky start, he battled back to finish fourth of ten in his flight. He will be greatly missed by all in our league.” Dan Neadau was his golf partner for five years and remembers, he first met Daniel on the first Tuesday in May 2017. We had so much fun on the golf course, we didn't care how we scored. The laughter that we shared was priceless. Dan keep hitting them straight down the fairway in heaven. God bless you.

Dan loved working at his home, calling it the Embassy of the Kingdom of Heaven. He was the love of Marlene’s life. She will keep the home they created and his memory alive.

Dan is survived by his, wife, Marlene (Chaffin) Baldwin; they were married on June 23, 2016 at the First Congregational Church; brothers, James (Sandy) Baldwin, Thomas (Chris) Baldwin; children, Melissa (Wes) White, Amanda (Matt) Chappel, Travis (Holly) Shutler, Jacob (Nikolina) Speelman; grandchildren, Lindsey, Andrew, Jacob, Alec, Madelyn, Aiden, and Collin; a niece and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Shirley (Anderson) Baldwin; grandparents, Robert and Ellen (Hautamaki) Anderson; his friends he’s in Heaven with Paul Holland, Bob Winnie, Norm Wycoff and Steve Strassburger.

Marlene shares that the world is a little more dark in the loss of this precious light of Dan who loved the Lord and hopes that you do too.

Dan’s Celebration of life will be Monday, November 8 at East Bay Calvary Church. Visitation begins at 9:30 am. The service will be at 11:00 am with a luncheon to follow. Graveside services are at 2:30pm at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens on Veterans Drive.

The family would like to request written memories be written in advance to place in a basket at church. If you are not able to attend, please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.

To view a livestream of the funeral at 11am on Monday, visit East Bay Calvary Church’s YouTube page, Facebook page, or website (live.eastbaycalvary.org). To view the recorded service afterwards, visit the YouTube page at www.youtube.com/c/EastBayCalvaryChurch.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 5412, Traverse City, Michigan 49696 or https://www.habitatgtr.org/donate/dan/

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