September 19, 2018
Gilbert Louis Baldwin, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was born Jan. 14, 1949 as the first-born and much loved son of the late George and Marie Baldwin. He went on to be with our Lord, Wednesday, September 19, 2018, at the age of 69. Gilbert was born in the city of Belle Glade, Florida, and moved north with his parents to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was nurtured in Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and educated in Milwaukee Public Schools. The family established strong roots on the northwest side of Milwaukee, and would pioneer racial integration as the first black family in that area of town. The eldest of seven siblings, Gilbert developed an interest in the arts and was an accomplished writer, saxophone player and child actor. Gilbert graduated in 1967 from Custer High School, where he was an All-American athlete and scholar. He starred as a running back on the football team and runner on the track team. As a teenager, Gilbert quickly demonstrated his creativity as a theater performer, engaging local audiences with quick wit and colorful humor. Upon graduation, Gilbert went on to attend Macalester College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he studied Sociology and English. Following graduation, Gilbert began to pursue his dreams by reaching out to well-known comedy producer George Schlater, of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Schlater wrote back that if Gilbert wanted to pursue writing, he would need to move to Los Angeles. So, he moved indeed. As fate would have it, Gilbert did not find fame, and soon thereafter returned to Minnesota where he would make his mark as a business owner. He took his intelligence, energy level, leadership skills, and ability to make people feel comfortable, and began to position himself as a difference maker in his community. In 1983, he founded Columbia Precision Machine Corporation, and was soon joined by long time business partner Paul Mann. The small company began to manufacture small and medium-sized custom parts for aerospace and defense projects. Today Columbia Precision Machine Corporation has established itself as a dependable maker of high-quality products and promoter of young people pursuing their dreams as a machinist and entrepreneur. Gilbert had numerous professional and civic interests and contributed his service and support to the community for more than 40 years. He credited his success and sensitivity to his family values established by his parents. His affiliations included Junior Achievement, Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and North Central Minority Supplier Development Council. Some of Gilbert’s awards include The Entrepreneur of the Year, The Business Journal’s Minority Business Award, and the Junior Achievement Bronze Leadership Award. He sat on various boards and engaged in a long list of community programs and projects. It can be said, "A man is what he does." This can be applied to the life of Gilbert Baldwin. He always demonstrated a strong commitment to his community and fellowman, and was considered by many to be a true humanitarian. Gilbert would often say, "I'd love to see more minorities and more women in our industry, because I think it gives it a different flavor and it gives it a different outlook on how to approach problem solving." A lover of nature and the great outdoors, Gilbert enjoyed photography, reading, writing, boating and hiking. He was very proud of his extensive original photography collection. An avid sports fan, Gilbert loved his Timberwolves, Vikings and Golden Gophers.
Gilbert Louis Baldwin, of Burnsville, Minnesota, was born Jan. 14, 1949 as the first-born and much loved son of the late George and Marie Baldwin. He went on to be with our Lord, Wednesday, September 19, 2018, at the age of 69. Gilbert was born... View Obituary & Service Information
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