Village remembers longtime mayor
Baldwin left legacy of ‘selflessness’
The Waite Hill community and beyond is mourning the loss of former mayor Arthur D. Baldwin II.
Baldwin died Oct. 27 at age 85 after a “valiant” battle against prostate cancer, the family said.
Baldwin served as mayor 46 years before retiring in 2012. He started out on Village Council — the four years prior — and had the longest tenure as mayor in the history of Lake County and the longest continuous service in the state.
“Every resident of the village is a beneficiary of his 50 years of service,” said current Mayor Bob Ranallo, who succeeded Baldwin. “We lost a giant. He was an exceptional man.”
Ranallo knew Baldwin for about 25 years, beginning with their service on the board of The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, of which Baldwin was past president.
When asked what legacy Baldwin leaves, Ranallo said, “His selflessness, his willingness to work tirelessly behind the scenes and, if I had to put it one sentence, his dedication and commitment to making Waite Hill the great community that it is. That’s Art Baldwin.”
His leadership also included board member and past president of Vocational Guidance Services, where he was a recipient of the Herbert E. Strawbridge Lifetime Achievement Award.
After his initial election in 1966, Baldwin ran unopposed in every mayoral race. At the time of his retirement from office, he said he was most proud of the continuity of his community.
“I think when people tell me, ‘Gee, Waite Hill has not changed in 50 years,’ that’s an accomplishment to me,” he said.
He only took a salary of $1 as mayor until PERS rules changed, requiring a minimum pay, said Concord Township Trustee Christopher Galloway, who is close to the family.
“In typical Art Baldwin fashion, On Dec. 31 there was always an anonymous donation to the village that just happened to be the
“Every resident of the village is a beneficiary of his 50 years of service. We lost a giant. He was an exceptional man.” — Current Waite Hill Mayor Bob Ranallo
amount of his salary,” said Galloway, who called him a “titan of Lake County.”
“I first met Art in 1996. I was just a young man working for the Ohio House Republican Caucus. … He was a mentor and a community leader to so many people. He was always there with good advice, especially for young public officials and business people.”
Willoughby Mayor David Anderson said he had a good working relationship with Baldwin for 26 years.
“Art Baldwin was a true gentleman,” he said. “In any conversation, political or otherwise, Art could always be counted on to be the voice of reason. He was a great leader and he’ll be missed here in Lake County.”
Baldwin graduated from Yale University and served as a second lieutenant in the 4th Armored division in Fort Hood, Texas. He worked at Cleveland Graphite Bronze (now Clevite) followed by several companies of his own, including Protective Chemicals and Arthur Treacher’s franchises.
He also cofounded Patrick-Douglas, a firm that specialized in finding new management positions for displaced executives, and formed Artgo Inc., an executive search firm specializing in mid-level management.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margot, four daughters and eight grandchildren.
Interment in the Waite Hill Cemetery was private. A celebration of his life will take place Dec. 2 at The Kirtland Country Club, which his family helped found.
Donations in his honor may be made to VGS, 2239 E. 55th St., Cleveland, 44103-4451; The Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, 44094; or The Waite Hill Foundation.
Arthur D. Baldwin II