MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Update: Wednesday, December 27th, 5:10 P.M:
Funeral services have been set for Marquette Mayor, Tom Baldini.
Next Tuesday, January 2nd, there will be visitation hours at Canale-Tonella Funeral Home in Marquette from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M.
On Wednesday, January 3rd, there will be additional visitation from 11 A.M. to 12 P.M. at St. Michael's Catholic Church and mass beginning at 12 P.M.
The Mayor of Marquette died late Tuesday afternoon. TV6 & FOX UP has received word that Tom Baldini, 74, has been taken off life support. He was hospitalized after suffering a stroke on Saturday.
Baldini was elected as the Mayor of Marquette last month, but has been in public service for decades. He served as the Chair of the International Joint Commission for Canada and the United States under President Clinton.
He was also the District Director for Congressman Bart Stupak.
Baldini joined Governor James Blanchard’s staff as a Special Assistant for U.P. Affairs and Education Advisor in 1984 and returned to the Marquette Public Schools as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Finances and Personnel in 1991.
Baldini was also an adjunct professor at Northern Michigan University. He was a teacher of Government and Economics at Marquette Senior High School from 1965-83
Appointed by Governor Granholm, he served as a member of the Michigan Technological University Board of Control until 2016. He was President of the Marquette Area Public School Foundation and Vice Chair of the Marquette County Community Foundation. He was President of the Fourth of July Fireworks Committee for the Marquette area.
Former First District Representative Bart Stupak (D) issued the following statement:
"Tom Baldini was a loyal friend, teacher, public servant and strong advocate for the people of the Upper Peninsula. During my time in Congress, and his years working with Governor Blanchard, Tom worked tirelessly to improve our quality of life, create jobs, and protect our Great Lakes.
But Tom’s number one priority was education and his students. Whether it was through his government classes at Marquette High School, Political Practicum at NMU, or his years of service as a member of the Board of Trustees at Michigan Tech, Tom always remembered his students and his students always remembered Mr. Baldini.
Tom’s passing is not only a deep loss for his close family and friends, it is a loss for the City of Marquette and our entire Upper Peninsula community."
State Rep. Scott Dianda (D) issued the following statement:
"It comes with a heavy heart to learn from media outlets about the passing of my dear friend, Mayor Tom Baldini. Tom was a remarkable public servant, mentor and personal friend who lived up to the ideal of serving the greater good of the Upper Peninsula. He was a transformational leader and I will cherish the memories of working with him as State Representative for the 110th House District. My prayers are with his family during this difficult time."
State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D) issued the following statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that our office has learned of the passing of Marquette Mayor Tom Baldini today. He was a pioneer in Marquette politics, working as the U.P. Representative for Governor Blanchard, political advisor for Congressman Bart Stupak, and appointed chairman for the prestigious International Joint Commission under President Clinton, among many, many other positions throughout his career. He was also a beloved history teacher at Marquette Senior High School, where everywhere he went people noted that 'Mr. Baldini was my government teacher!'......and oftentimes adding 'their favorite teacher.'
Jason, Mary and I all got the opportunity to work with Tom through the Marquette County Democratic Party, reporting for the Mining Journal and as a fellow Marquette city commissioner. While we are still in shock, and though all of us had many more conversations we were supposed to have with Tom in the near future, we ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers at this time. This is a huge loss for not only our local communities, but also for our entire region and state. His legacy and enormous impact on politics will forever be remembered.”
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) issued the following statement:
“Tom Baldini has been an icon in Michigan Democratic politics and the ultimate champion for our UP. His life epitomized the meaning of public service. He was a mentor to so many over the years, and I always valued his friendship and advice. Although his passing leaves a big void, his legacy is a lasting reminder to all of us of what it means to serve. My thoughts and prayers are with Tom’s family at this very difficult time.”
U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) issued the following statement:
“I was shocked and saddened to learn of Tom’s death, and Colleen and I extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. From his time in the classroom to service in Governor Blanchard’s Administration and his recent election as Mayor of Marquette, Tom Baldini has been a pillar of the Upper Peninsula for decades, and his passion for Marquette and the U.P. were evident in all that he did. Like so many, I regularly sought out Tom’s advice and counsel, and I cherished our friendship. With his passing, the entire State of Michigan lost a true public servant.”
Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D) issued the following statement:
"The people of Marquette, the Upper Peninsula and all of Michigan lost a heroic advocate for service to community and the value of the struggle for the common good. I lost a dear personal friend who was at my side for decades in the U.P. and in the battles for the health of the Great Lakes. My heart goes out to Tom’s family and his legion of friends."
The Michigan Democratic Party issued the following statement on behalf of Party Chair Brandon Dillion:
"We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Mayor Tom Baldini. Tom cared deeply about Marquette, his friends and neighbors in the U.P., and the entire state of Michigan. He dedicated his career to public service and spent his life giving back and fighting for a better Michigan for everyone. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to Tom's family, friends, colleagues, and the people of Marquette. Tom Baldini will be greatly missed, but his work and the example he set as a public servant will continue to make a difference for years to come."
TV6 & FOX UP will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.