David J. Baldwin, 50, director of local advertising for Inquirer

Posted: July 08, 2014

DAVID J. BALDWIN was a fighter.

No way was he going to let a cancer diagnosis crimp his lifestyle or stifle his spirit.

He had things to do. There was his daughter's wedding to attend, where he fully intended to give away the bride and dance with her at the reception.

And there were Flyers games to watch, and kids to coach and inspire. And fellow cancer patients to counsel and take care of.

And, of course, his job as director of local advertising for the Inquirer, which he had graced with his talents and work ethic for 33 years.

But David's brave struggle came to an end July 3. He died of colon cancer at the age of 50. He lived in the Northeast.

"He was one of the strongest men that I ever met," said his wife, the former JoAnne DiMezzo.

Tony Cuffie, vice president of advertising for Interstate General Media, the Inquirer's parent company, said he worked with David for 10 years "and he always got things done."

"He started out of high school as a runner in the advertising department," Cuffie said. "He was able to rise through the ranks because of his personality. He was very smart, very adaptable. He was a success at every job he did.

"He had a broad understanding of every deparment. When he started working for me, he was my guy. We were seldom apart."

David was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011, and the prognosis was not good.

"He was initially given only a few months to live," his wife said, "but he lived much longer."

"We're going to get through this," JoAnne said he told her. "We're going to fight."

She said he never complained. His motto, she said, was, "Everything happens for a reason."

"He was an all-around exceptional human being," said Michael Days, Daily News editor and longtime friend. "He was very dedicated to his family and the people he worked with. He talked about his family all the time."

Bill Ross, executive director of the Newspaper Guild, said he knew David as a 20-year member of the Guild before David joined Inquirer management.

"He was always fair," Bill said. "He was a happy-go-lucky guy who always had a smile on his face. When he talked about his illness, he was always optimistic. He never complained. He never felt sorry for himself."

At his daughter's wedding in October, David walked down the church aisle with Jamie and danced with her at the reception.

"It was a great day," his wife told the Inquirer.

David loved the Jersey Shore and visited Avalon frequently with the family. Last June, the family took him to Avalon for Father's Day. He got to dip his toes in the water.

To say that David was a fan of the Flyers would be an understatement. He was passionately devoted to the team, and had Flyers memorabilia in his home in the Northeast.

Look for him during the season, and he was probably at a game. He also coached hockey at Archbishop Ryan High School and served on the board of directors of the Parkwood Youth Organization, where he also coached soccer.

David was a father figure to many children in his neigborhood. "Dave not only loved our kids, but all kids," his wife told the Inquirer.

As he was fighting his own battle with cancer, David took time to meet with fellow fighters to encourage their battle and counsel them. He volunteered at a cancer survivors' luncheon at Nazareth Hospital.

David was born in Philadelphia to Joseph and Phyllis Baldwin. His late father was also an Inquirer advertising employee.

Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by a son, Joey; another daughter, Danielle Baldwin, and two brothers, Brian and Mark.

Services: Funeral Mass 11:30 a.m. today at St. Anselm Church, 12670 Dunks Ferry Road. Friends may call at 9:45 a.m. at the John F. Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Road. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kimmel Cancer Center, 233 S. 10th St., BLSB Room 1050, Philadelphia, Pa., 19107.

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