Richard Paul Baldwin, 91, of Wister, OK passed away Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Talihina Veterans Center in Talihina, OK. Richard was born March 27, 1925 in St. Louis, MO to Robert "Bob" & Dollie (Wilson) Baldwin. He was the third of five children. Richard graduated from Fanshawe High School with the Class of 1943. He served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1946; receiving his training in San Diego, CA as a parachute rigger. He served on the U.S.S. Cowpens, "The Mighty Moo", where he witnessed a burial at sea, the crash landings on deck, of bombers returning from pounding Tokyo and other cities. He also saw the Japanese surrendering group being taken out to U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Harbor. Men from the Cowpens were the first Americans to set foot on the Japanese mainland. Richard received an honorable discharge in 1946. He loved telling stories of things he had seen and places he had been.
Richard married Emma "Judy" Latta in November of 1945; together they raised six children. Richard received his teaching degree from Oklahoma City University and began teaching at Howe School then later at Wister School. He also ran the Manpower Work Program in LeFlore County, helping many people find jobs. Richard and Emma "Judy" loved their family. Family and friends still talk about the chicken fries on Mountain Creek or having to work in the chicken houses before you could go swimming. Richard was a Mason for 50 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Emma (7/12/2008) ; his parents; sister, Lucille Jenson; brothers, Irre & Pheland Baldwin.
Survivors include his daughters, Ann Baldwin of Alma, AR, Betty Terry of Wister, OK, Deborah and Jerry Harmon of Wister, OK; sons, Larry & Lynda Baldwin, Bill & Lydia Baldwin, John & Rita Baldwin all of Wister, OK; 14 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; sister, Patricia Lynch of Pocola, OK; other relatives, loved ones and friends.
Services will be 10 am, Monday, May 2, 2016 at Ellis Chapel Church, Wister, OK with Revs. Lynn Bullard, Joe Hayden Hall & Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Ellis Chapel Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Heath Ragland, Windell & Josh Terry, Caleb, Clint, Ben, Brandon & J.P. Baldwin. Honorary pallbearers will be Jackie Brown, Wayne Meeks, Joe Davidson, Bud Morgan, Steve Walden and Shawn Bullard.