I appointed Sally Baldwin my “Grandma 2.0” a little over two years ago. Both my grandmothers have passed away, and while I had considered many candidates, Sally quickly became the only choice.
I have so many reasons, but here are some of my favorites: She is unique and gives big hugs. She is opinionated and often bossy. She loses her mind a little when it comes to her computer. She lives and breathes Facebook and the news. She puts on lipstick before the paramedics are about to show up, just in case. She is kind and cares deeply. She unapologetically spoils her plump little dachshunds, Hilde and Marley. She believes in prayer. She makes her husband, Harry (Grandad 2.0), deliver me chicken soup and orange juice when she thinks I’m sick. I caught her crying in church last Sunday. And, she truly, deeply loves her city, San Gabriel.
On July 20, Sally Baldwin will be honored as this year’s Outstanding Older American at the San Gabriel City Council meeting.
The City of San Gabriel, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, sponsors “Older American Recognition Day” every year. San Gabriel’s Outstanding Older American program seeks out and honors persons 65 years of age and older who are actively involved in service to others in their community. Sally will receive recognition at the first in-person San Gabriel City Council meeting since the pandemic began, and it could not be more fitting that Sally will be the honoree. A resident since 1963, she has been showing up for her community for almost six decades.
Sally taught children in the San Gabriel Unified School District for 28 years. Post-retirement, she has continued to serve her community – as an active member and leader of a number of community organizations. She continues to serve out many of these commitments today.
Notably, Sally is the secretary of the San Gabriel Community Foundation and a member of the San Gabriel Historical Association. Her love of diversity and inclusion is seen in her years volunteering for the Asian Youth Center. You can catch her reading at church on Sundays as a Lay Eucharistic Minister or be greeted by her and Harry when they usher. She even keeps this granddaughter 2.0 feeling safe as the Chairperson of the Neighborhood Watch on my block.
Last month, on June 15 in Sally’s front yard, Mayor Chin Liau and Councilmember Denise Menchaca awarded Sally a fancy commendation certificate. The presentation was attended by, it seemed, San Gabriel’s entire police force and fire department. While checking for wedding rings on the hands of firemen for me, Sally loudly announced, “I hope the neighbors don’t think this is a drug bust.” Amid the laughter and tears (yes, I caught Sally crying), her adoration of her city and its public servants was obvious. And just as I do, her city adores her right back.
Congratulations to Sally - outstanding citizen, Grandma 2.0, and Church of Our Saviour’s Everyday Saint for July.