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Woody Baldwin's Celebration of Life

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Several Board Members attended the Celebration of Life Service for Woody Baldwin. They were Michael Stone, Richard Tobison, Jack Nimmo, and myself. There were also several past board members present.

It was well attended and had a very good program. Several of Woody's friends spoke, including the only living charter member of the Austin Prime Timers. Several people from his poetry club also spoke.

 

It was clear that Woody and Will Rogers had one thing in common. They never met a person that they didn't like. Woody had a love for everyone and he loved the Prime Timers that he organized.

He and Sean will be buried at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas where he was born and raised.

Austin Prime Timers is to be commended for putting such a wonderful Celebration of Life Service together. — A.J.

In the past few hours, I've thought about my own encounter with Woody in a private conversation in his retirement apartment in Austin last December. What an honor it was for me to sit in the celebration of his life and understand the connection Woody could make with a complete stranger like me! While strangers, we shared a common bond of being able to grow older in dignity in a society that is beginning to see and respect us for who we truly are. What a blessing it was for me to have friends that encouraged me to join Woody's society. As I became more and more involved in Prime Timers, I realized the value of the gift he gave gay men.

Michael Stone, President of Prime Timers Worldwide, recalled his many years of friendship as he worked with Woody on the Worldwide Board and watched the organization grow to over 80 chapters with 10,000 or so members. Three other current Worldwide Board members and several other former Board members were there, too. Members from other chapters joined the Austin Prime Timers (his home chapter) to honor him. In his remarks, Michael challenged all of us to keep Woody alive by mentioning him and his gift often. We are his legacy.

As it was in his early childhood where you could see a silo or grain elevator over ten miles away, Woody saw a need for older gay and bi-sexual men in his vision of Prime Timers. The need still exists because we all get older, slow down, begin to have medical challenges, and remember our youth. But, we need not be alone because of a gift we've received. Did he not see you across the miles? Do you not feel or want to feel young at heart? Of course! As Liza Minnelli sang, "What good is sitting alone in your room, come here the music play". We have the opportunity to reach out and share companionship with others that have received Woody's gift and legacy - Prime Timers. - Jack

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Last modified on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 20:29

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