Virginia Baldwin, a lifelong Hood River, Ore., resident, passed away June 19, 2014, at Parkhurst Place with family by her side.
Although she spoke her opinion without hesitation, Virginia was a private person and a homebody who loved her family, loved her home and loved a cold winter’s day.
Virginia Lee Clemmons was born April 30, 1922, in Hood River to Louise Byrd Clemmons and Frank Clemmons Sr. She attended Pine Grove and Hood River schools and graduated from Hood River High School in 1940. Virginia married school classmate Louis Cole “Jack” Baldwin Jr. on Aug. 4, 1946, after Jack’s return from the war.
Virginia and Jack started their life together in a tiny stucco house on Belmont Road until Jack built their first home on 17th and May streets near the “old” high school. There, Virginia and Jack started their family: Donald Cole Baldwin born July 1, 1950, and Janis Louise Baldwin, born July 17, 1951.
The young family moved to Jack’s parents’ home on Belmont Road in 1959 and remained there, welcoming their children’s friends, spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren ever since.
Virginia’s only job outside the home was for Diamond Fruit Growers. After marrying Jack, and as Jack’s residential construction business grew, she became business partner and bookkeeper.
Along with high school friend George Howell, Jack and Virginia founded Cooper Spur Ski Area in the late 1940s. While Jack was occupied in the tow house or on the Thiokol grooming the slopes, Virginia kept track of ticket sales and ski school classes.
Thousands of youngsters from the Hood River Valley and The Dalles learned to ski at Cooper Spur and fond memories remain of skiing on the Bunny Slope and Jump Hill. Even after the ski area was sold, Virginia supported the Valley Christian Church Youth Group and their annual ski outings to Cooper Spur.
Virginia was an honorary member of the Alpinees (a mountain search and rescue organization founded by her husband Jack). She coordinated all the rentals of the original Alpinee Hut — the “Wigwam” — on Tucker Road, as well as manned the C.A.P. radio during rescue operations.
Virginia served as cook and quartermaster on many of the family adventures climbing to the top of Mount Hood, skiing down the slopes, camping or hiking national forest trails to photograph wild flowers.
After Jack’s passing in 1986, Virginia took up the game of golf, which was a lifesaver to a new widow. She traveled with friends and family to Canada, Las Vegas, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York City, New Orleans, the southern states, Orlando and Disney World, with brothers Frank and Scott and their wives, both celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries, and cruised the Mississippi on the Delta Queen.
Virginia attended Oregon State University where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. In Hood River, she was a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Hood River Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Hood River History Museum Board, and a member of the Valley Christian Church and the Tuesday Women’s Bible Study Group.
Virginia is survived by her two children, Don Baldwin and his wife, Becky, of Hood River, and Jan Baldwin Panfilio and her husband, Ron, of Wilsonville; two grandchildren: Brooke Baldwin and Brian Baldwin, and his wife, Holly; eight step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Davis and Winslow. Five nieces and nephews also survive.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 9, at 3 p.m. at the Valley Christian Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are encouraged to be made to the Valley Christian Church Youth Group Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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