Baldwin has won multiple volunteer awards

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist 

“The secret to living long is to have something to live for.” -David Levithan

Mildred Baldwin may be Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation’s most famous resident for a couple of reasons.

She won the facility’s beauty pageant in 2014 at the age of 93, and she is one year away from turning 100 years old.

“I’ve been in pageants, but I’ve never won. I won this time,” Baldwin said. “All pageants are fun, but being the winner is really fun.”

A native of Chelsea, she has lived in Shelby County her entire life.

Baldwin has enjoyed a fulfilling and rewarding life. In the 1930s she sang on the radio with an older sister and was a member of the Saints Alive Senior Choir of Alabaster’s First Baptist Church and the choral group at the Alabaster Senior Center.

Baldwin has done a lot for the community.

“I’ve been active all through my life. I’ve been working with people, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it,” she said.

Baldwin and her husband, Dillard, grew and sold vegetables at the Shade Tree Curb Market for more than 30 years.

She won many ribbons for the flowers she grew.

A Master Quilter, she has created more than 100 quilts, which were on display at a 90th birthday party hosted by her family.

More than 200 of her friends gathered to celebrate with her.

Baldwin said her family has been one of her greatest joys.

Her union with Dillard produced five children. She has eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Baldwin was honored by the Shelby County RSVP for 40 years of volunteering.

She is a recipient of the Gold and Lifetime Presidential Service Awards, the RSVP Volunteer Spirit Award, the Star Volunteer Award and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Medallion.