Opal Mae Baldwin went home to her heavenly Father on April 2, 2016. Opal had recently moved into the Fairbanks Pioneers Home, and died quietly in her sleep at 91.
She was born Feb. 3, 1925, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to Homer and Neva Peterson. When she was 16, the family relocated to Kelso, Washington, where Opal finished her senior year of high school. She attended and received a degree from Northwest Bible College.
Being the adventurous soul she was, in 1948, Opal and her friend, Erma Jean, rode up the Alaska Highway with a missionary family to Fairbanks, then flew on to Nome.
She returned to Oregon in 1951 to take part in Erma Jean’s wedding. It wasn’t long before her friends from Nome convinced her to move. This time while in Nome she met the love of her life, Bob Baldwin. They were married in 1955 and three years later, welcomed into the world Craig, Opal’s only child.
They transferred to Fairbanks in 1963, where Bob worked for the old FE Company. When gold prices rose, they were sent back to Nome and upon Bob’s retirement returned to Fairbanks in 1982 to welcome her first grandchild. How elated she was to be a grandmother.
Opal was a woman with great energy and found herself involved with numerous clubs and activities. She was proud to be a member of the Pioneers of Alaska; she served as grand recorder for many years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Baldwin; brother Howard Peterson and great-
grandson Benjamin Ryan Rush.
Surviving Opal is her son, Craig Baldwin; daughter-in-law Cathy Baldwin, their children Kristina Rush and Ryan Baldwin, step-daughter Karen Tanner, Karen’s children, Deb Straub, Daniel Tanner and Olga Tanner; step-son Robert Baldwin Jr., and numerous great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the First United Methodist Church, 915 Second Ave. Donations may be made in Opal's memory to the First United Methodist Church.
Arrangements were made by Fairbanks Funeral Home.