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Frank B. Baldwin III, 80, corporate lawyer and educator

Mr. Baldwin came from a family who operated a milk distribution business, but he opted for a law career. He was a precocious student.

Frank B. Baldwin III
Frank B. Baldwin IIIRead moreCourtesy of the Baldwin Family (custom credit)

Frank B. Baldwin III, 80, of Philadelphia, a corporate lawyer and educator, died Tuesday, Oct. 29, of complications from Parkinson’s disease at Bryn Mawr Extended Care Center.

He was born to F. Bruce Baldwin Jr. and Eleanor Dutton Baldwin at Frankford Hospital in 1939. His grandfather Frank B. Baldwin founded Baldwin Dairies as a Philadelphia teenager in 1892 and delivered milk by horse and wagon to customers after school. The company is still in business as Balford Foods.

Mr. Baldwin graduated from Lincoln High School in Philadelphia as valedictorian. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1961.

He completed a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964 and a master’s degree in law from the London School of Economics in 1965.

During summer breaks from Harvard and Penn, Mr. Baldwin worked as a milkman for Abbotts Dairy in Ocean City, N.J., and on Long Beach Island.

“He loved being a milkman, but was often told by customers that he had to go to the back door to make deliveries,” said his wife, Brooke. “When they found out that he was a Harvard student, he was invited to come to the front door to meet their daughters.”

In 1964, Mr. Baldwin studied and taught law in London. Once back in the United States in 1965, he became a visiting assistant law professor at Penn. He was appointed to the Delaware Governor’s Committee on Revision of the Delaware Criminal Code and over the next two years, helped produce an official draft proposal.

From 1966 to 1969, Mr. Baldwin was acting associate professor of law at the University of California, Davis. He believed in teaching law not just by the book, but by taking his students into the courtroom. While on the West Coast, he helped revise Hawaii’s penal code.

He returned to Philadelphia in 1969 to serve as associate counsel for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. In 1974, he became assistant general counsel to International Utilities Corp., Philadelphia.

From 1982 until 2006, when he retired, Mr. Baldwin played various roles with the Philadelphia law firms of Saul Ewing LLP and Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel. His last job was as legal counsel and clerk of the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

He was a women’s rights advocate. While in California, he pressed for the Beilenson Act to allow free and elective abortions. When signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1967, the act permitted abortions in cases of rape, incest, or likely harm to the mother.

In Philadelphia, he volunteered with a program to help female offenders.

A pillar of Mr. Baldwin’s life was his religious faith. He joined Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and became a ruling elder in 1974, serving until 1979.

Blessed with a ringing baritone, he sang in the church choir for years. He taught Sunday school and was a counselor at Camp Susquehannock in Brackney, Pa., when the church’s children attended.

Mr. Baldwin and his wife moved from the Main Line to Center City in 1996. He joined the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he was active in educational and outreach programs.

In 1993, he was the attorney for Riverview Presbyterian Church in the appeal of an Upper Darby zoning board decision. The decision prohibited the Drexel Hill church from hosting Shepherd’s Place, a program using churches as homeless shelters throughout Delaware County. The decision was overturned.

“He said the decision was good for other county churches that shelter the homeless,” the family said.

In addition to work, he enjoyed cooking, hosting dinner parties, and gardening. He made spaghetti sauce from homegrown tomatoes.

Besides his wife of 57 years, he is survived by children Elisa Fante and Bruce and Christopher Baldwin; four grandchildren; and a sister.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 201 S. 21st St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103. Mr. Baldwin donated his body to science.

Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church at the address above.