Dorothy Clara Baldwin, 102, passed away in her sleep on April 28, 2020 at her assisted living residence. She was the only child of Walter Herman Schultz and Ruth Marie Gardner Schultz. She considered herself a country girl, raised with German determination on a farm in Pokegama Lake, Minnesota. She attended school in Pine City, graduating in 1935. Dorothy married her high school sweetheart, Denver, on her 19th birthday wearing an elegant blue velvet dress while a snow storm raged outside. Together they moved to Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, DC before settling in Minneapolis and later Waconia, Minnesota. In 1947, when her children were still young, Dorothy and Denver had an amazing opportunity to purchase a cabin in Northern Minnesota. It was a dream come true. Little did they know then how this small cabin would become their legacy, four generations later.
Dorothy was a wonderful and nurturing homemaker, supporting her husband and her two children, Gary and Darlene. Although at times Dorothy worked at Dayton’s department store, volunteered at the hospital and later operated the Registry of Motor Vehicles, she felt her biggest accomplishment in life was being a wife, mother and later a grandmother and great-grandmother. So much love went into building her family, being a sister-in-law and aunt to her extended Baldwin family, and creating a culture of togetherness and joy at their Ponto cabin, making memories and so many friends along the way.
Dorothy enjoyed trips with her husband to Spain, Tangiers, Greece, Brazil, Hawaii and Mexico as rewards for Denver’s excellent sales record. In retirement, Dorothy spent summers at her cabin on Ponto Lake in Backus, Minnesota and winters in Apache Junction, Arizona. Dorothy was a grandmother to son Gary’s three children, Angela, Scott and Randall, who spent entire summers at Ponto Lake. Always up for adventure, Dorothy and her husband would travel across the United States, from Boston where son Gary lived to Los Angeles where daughter Darlene lived, visiting family and friends along the way. Dorothy lost her son Gary when he was just 53 and later her husband passed in 2002.
Being a strong, capable woman Dorothy continued living alone until age 94, when she moved in with her daughter Darlene and her son-in-law Mark Layton. She spent six years with them in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and together they continued to summer in Minnesota. Dorothy lost her son-in-law Mark in early 2017 and her daughter to Pancreatic Cancer not long after. The last years of her life, Dorothy spent north of Denver, Colorado near grandchildren Angela and Randall, and four of her six great-grandchildren. She continued to spend every summer at the cabin.
Dorothy was spry to her last day. She was able to move around on her own and care for herself. She still had her sense of humor and said often how grateful she was to have her mind. She was not a fan of being in quarantine, missing out on friends, family and activities. She said “This is the berries” as she felt isolated from everything important to her in her last weeks.
Dorothy was an inspiration to everyone she met. She was cheerful and sincerely interested in everyone around her. At only 4’6” Dorothy was still larger than life. People were drawn to her sheer goodness, caring ways and her delightful giggle. This little woman had grit, courage and an admirable inner strength. She could handle anything and was up for anything. She really lived life and rarely said no to an opportunity. She maintained her countenance and dignity, and was always in style with the latest fashions. This radiant, good woman has left a lasting impression on everyone. She will be missed by her nieces and nephews and their children, her three grandchildren, the six greats, and so many, many friends. Dorothy was buried in a small family service at the Ponto Lake Cemetery, alongside her husband and children. The legacy of family and love that she built will continue to grow as her great-grandchildren will continue their summer visits on Ponto Lake in her honor.
Dorothy was a woman of strong faith and was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Backus, MN as well as Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Broomfield, CO. Any donations can be made to either church on her behalf.
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