Obituary of Emily Bradfield Willis Baldwin
Emily Bradfield Willis Baldwin, 92, of West Columbia, passed on to her heavenly home on January 20, 2019. Born December 11, 1926 in LaGrange, Georgia to the late Richard Jefferson Willis and Emma Pitman Bradfield Willis, she was a sister of the late Richard Jefferson Willis, Jr. of Anderson, SC and the late Ina Willis Lambeth of Winston-Salem, NC.
She enjoyed a happy childhood in a loving extended family, enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming and horseback riding, and developed a lifelong love for music and dancing. Emily graduated from LaGrange High School, completed a secretarial science course of study at Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, Georgia during the turmoil of World War II, and returned to LaGrange to work for Metropolitan Insurance Company.
She married Robert “Bob” Earl Baldwin from Greenville SC on April 3, 1948 when the azaleas and dogwoods of western Georgia were in glorious full bloom. Together they shared 70 years of marriage. Her husband’s work took them to nine cities in five states during the first 20 years of their marriage. This was no small challenge when raising children and having to “start over” so many times. In each of these locations Emily and Bob made lasting friendships, were active in church, and found multiple ways to serve their communities. Emily loved the Lord, read the Bible through many times, and spent countless hours over many years in private Bible study. She said later in her life that one of the things she looked back on with the greatest satisfaction was teaching Sunday School. In her younger years, she modeled “giving back to the community” for her children, visiting the elderly and the sick, providing clothes and shoes to children in need, helping with special events in her children’s classrooms and Girl Scout projects, and contributing to organizations that help children. Mrs. Baldwin loved being a wife and mother and, indeed, felt it was her calling. She was known as a good cook who delighted in experimenting with new recipes and setting a lovely table, maintaining a welcoming home, and being a gracious hostess. She sewed clothes for her family and packed many a picnic meal for the various short adventures she and her husband and children took to explore whatever area they lived in during a given time. She was known for her wonderful sense of humor and laughter was a hallmark of her home. During their retirement years, she and her husband enjoyed time on the South Carolina coast, nurturing a love of the ocean that began when they lived in Daytona Beach, Florida as a young couple in their 20s. They also cherished spending a week every summer for more than 20 years in Beech Mountain, NC.
She was predeceased by her husband in October 2018. Surviving are two daughters, Linda (Bryant) Lindsey of Morganton, North Carolina, and Lisa (Lawrence) Craft of West Columbia, SC. In recent years she and her husband made their home with Lisa and Lawrence. Mrs. Baldwin loved being a grandmother and cherished her grandchild, Robert Willis (Amy) Craft, whom she described as her “heart”, and great-grandchildren, Karlyn Williams, Parker Craft, Stella Grace Craft, and Liam Craft. Being in their presence brought a sparkle to her striking blue eyes. She always said, “You’ll miss me when I’m gone”. She was correct; she will be missed, very much and always.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, January 23 at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of Thompson Funeral Home, 4720 Augusta Road in Lexington, SC with visitation beginning at 12:00 Noon at the funeral home. Interment will follow the service at Woodridge Memorial Park, 138 Corley Mill Road, Lexington, SC. Flowers are welcome. Family and friends may sign the guestbook at www.woodridgefuneralhome.com.