Mark Edward Baldwin passed away peacefully on November 9, 2022 after a prolonged struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Mark was born on April 26, 1936 in tiny McVille, North Dakota. He spent most of his youth in the Midwest before heading to Arizona for college, then eventually calling California home. He married Carolyn Sipes in 1958, and they had two daughters. Brilliant and inquisitive, Mark treasured his time working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center during the 1960s and ’70s. Although Mark was not the type to show off, SLAC remains the longest linear accelerator in the world and put Menlo Park on the map long before Facebook (it was also much more affordable back then).
After years of camping and vacationing in the West, Mark and family realized a dream by moving to the mountains of Bozeman in 1974. He spent 20 years at Montana State University as a lab technician in the Physics Department, where he especially enjoyed getting to know many of the graduate students during his time there.
In Bozeman, Mark also had the good fortune of meeting and marrying Carolyn Billis in 1984. They enjoyed years of travel together throughout the West and Florida. In spite of his progressive dementia, he never forgot her.
Mark loved his family fiercely, but everyone understood cars were a close second. Whether attending races, masterfully building model cars, or customizing his own vehicles, he was seldom happier than when immersing himself in all things automobile. When one grandson expressed similar interests, Mark took him to Laguna Seca Raceway; the grandson came home with a ribald “car girl” poster surely not approved by buttoned-up Mark. Summers were spent playing softball with the Karl Marx/Columbo’s team where lifelong friendships were forged. His kindness, work ethic, and strong moral compass garnered respect by all who knew him.
Mark is survived by his wife, Carolyn; sister, Joan Sullivan; daughters, Chris Aydt and Kerin Richards; stepchildren, Chris Billis, Mitch Billis, Scott Billis, and Kara Synwolt, along with many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family acknowledges their heartfelt gratitude for all who provided loving and compassionate care for Mark during his illness, from those who assisted while he was home to his final months at Hyalite Care and with Enhabit Hospice.
Mark loved popcorn, basketball, football, chocolate malts, golf, road trips, and long walks — enjoying any one of these simple pleasures would be a welcome way to honor the memory of Mark, an uncommonly, deeply good man.
A celebration of life will be held with family and friends next summer.