Rev. Benjamin M. Baldus

Pastor Ben joined the Lord he served this past week after a brief illness. He was 64.

Ben earned a B.A. at Michigan State University, as well as Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from San Francisco Theological Seminary. A man of distinct tastes, he was a choir director and church organist in addition to being an ordained minister, and served in all of those capacities at many churches in Mid-Michigan. He was Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Lutheran Social Services of Michigan for many years, retiring in 2011. He practiced what he preached, and was a committed donor to a number of charities and institutions that work for the public good.

He is preceded in death by his brother Jeff and parents Don and Ann. He is survived by his son Robert (Velia) and daughter Melissa Diaz (John), as well as grandchildren Anya, Kiara, Gabriel and Zoey.

A visitation will be held Thursday, January 24 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St. in Lansing. A memorial service will be held Friday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. at University Lutheran Church, 1020 S. Harrison Rd. in East Lansing. If desired, donations to Ele’s Place may be made in lieu of flowers.

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32 Messages to “Rev. Benjamin M. Baldus

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Sue & Harry Domrase
January 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

We are very sad to hear the news of Ben’s passing. A friend for 40 years and will be greatly missed. We always think we can pick up the phone and catch up but get too busy with things less important until our time runs out. We know you are in a better place but still makes it hard to let you go. Rest in peace old friend.

Karl Loomis
January 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Ben, we thank you for all you did for us at Trinity Episcopal Marshall. All our prays to Anya and the whole family.

Maria Medina
January 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Melissa and Anya sorry to hear about your dad, grandpa. May God be your comfort through this time.

Cherie Riser
January 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Ben served as supply clergy during Trinity Episcopal Church’s transition. His love and guidance were greatly appreciated.
Randy and would like to extend our sympathy to his family.A

Eric & Kris Lamerson Kilmer
January 21, 2013 at 6:15 am

We thank God for Ben’s witness of faith, his joie de vivre, his servant heart, his love of friends, his kindly soul.
Too soon those whom God has given are taken from us and we repent the times we could have shared and yielded to the tyranny of the urgent instead.
How comforting to know because of the mercies of our Lord we need not say goodbye forever but only for a while.

Love you Ben,

Pete and Beth Weidenaar
January 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

Dear Rob, Melissa and spouses- also grandchilren of Ben.
So, so sorry to hear this shocking news of your father/grandfather’s death. We have enjoyed many dinners with your dad, and, of course all the Christmas parties. You are in are thoughts and prayers as you face the difficult days ahead. He will be greatly missed.

Dan Shipman
January 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I graduated High School with Ben. I never knew him not to be a Gentleman, even way back in high school. He always had something positive to add, if solicited. One of the few men I always respected. I’m sure he will be missed by many, family or not.

Mari Reive
January 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I knew Ben from the Anglican musicians list, and from Facebook. I can’t believe he’s gone. I valued his opinions, musicianship, and virtual friendship.

Karen Shoemaker Hewitt
January 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Ben and I were in the same graduating class from Waverly High School. He was always a gentleman, very much a scholar, and a wonderful musician. Your father/grandfather will be missed by many who knew and respected him. Believe that he has crossed from death into life.

Stephen Kauffman
January 22, 2013 at 11:04 am

A dear freind and colleague at LSSM and in ministry, I will remember Ben’s love of life and wonderful sense of humor. He demanded exellence in all his endeavors. God gave so many good gifts to Ben – he was a musician, pastor, advocate for justice, advisor to CEOs, loving son, father, and grandfather. Deborah and I shared many intimate dinners with Ben in Grand Rapids and in Lansing – always festive and memorable! We will certainly miss Ben! Rest eternal grant him, O Lord, and let your holy angels have charge over him. Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your reward!

Rev. Julie Parsell
January 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

So shocked and surprised to hear of my comrade having joined the church triumphant so unexpectedly. Ben was a gentleman, scholar and musician extraordinaire. I was blessed to have known him. May his family find the hope in the resurrection in which Ben himself was so confident. He will be missed…

Rev. Kent Lederer
January 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Ben: We love you, we appreciate you and we bless you as you move on to your next assignment! Thank you for the wonderful, warm impact you had on so many of us while you were here. You will not be forgotten. Enjoy your entry into the light of a new day! –Rev. Kent, member of the Interfaith Clergy Group and Unity of Greater Lansing.

James and Helen Niblock
January 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

What a shock to learn of this by the kind call of our mutual friend,
Ann McMillan.

Ben was indeed the epitome of Grace under Pressure enduring not only his own problems with strong faith and prayer, but always ministering to others socially, spiritually , and musically through the use of his many talents. We grieve for his loss and for his family who must adjust to it.
His life was a Blessing to all the lives he touched!

Since we are currently in Az until mid-March, we regret being unable to attend his memorials.
James and Helen Niblock

Anna Madsen
January 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm

My deep condolences to Ben’s family. Ben and I reconnected on FB, after years of not crossing paths. His dedication to his church was clear, but more than anything, he expressed great love for his family in our exchanges. My thoughts, prayers, and sighs go out to you.

The Rev. Richard D. McKenzie
January 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

In addition to his prophetic service on behalf of the ELCA in Michigan to the leadership of our State, his was a gracious host in his own home. Good food. Good conversation. Great music. My hope is in the answer to the question posed by St. Paul, “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” My hope for all God’s children for today and all the days to come.

Pastor Richard Moe
January 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I give thanks to have known Ben in the years here in East Lansing. He was always gracious in helping out in the congregation when we had a need. He also had expectations which sometimes challenged us but he was always trying to lead us with a good example. I give thanks too for his work over the years with the legislature through LSSM. We will miss his spirit and enthusiasm in sharing his gifts at the pipe organ when we had many clergy and church gatherings. Even though you had a number of health issues I didn’t expect you to leave us so soon.
We will miss your feisty spirit.

Terry and Linda Kimball
January 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Our hearts are broken. Ben was a friend since the mid-1970’s. He was smart, gracious and thoughtful. We often celebrated his birthday with a dinner here at the house, but our cooking skills didn’t hold a candle to his. We will miss our dear friend!

Kathryn Jagger
January 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Our sympathies at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Hillsdale go out to Ben’s family. We were blessed to have Ben supply for us several times over the past 2 years and once he brought darling Anya with him. He liked to call himself a “Lutherpalian” and would give our pipe organ a nice workout before Celebrating Holy Eucharist. So sad he will not be with us in the Spring. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Doug and Paula Ivey
January 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Ben, we were truly blessed and always enjoyed having you so graciously accept our call during our transition period at Trinity. You were a joy to be around and we were so very thankful that you were available to us. We enjoyed your sermons and the humor that often accompanied them. It was always a pleasure to have you visit. You will be missed.

May GOD bless and comfort your family.

Yvonne Clark
January 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dear Ben, So sorry you had to leave us. You will be greatly missed at All Saint’s Episcopal Church. We so enjoyed you, and your sweet Anya,and Kiara. God Bless.

Brian Johnson
January 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

Ben was not only a thought provoking sermonist, he could always interject into sermons and conversations wry, ironic humourous insights, without being mean or sarcastic. He balanced his spiritual life with abundant joy for the good things of life with music, friends and celebration. Ben’s counsel, in the practicalities of “doing the right things” in the very real world of politics and business will be equally missed, with his wit, intellect, spiritual grounding and compassion. I will miss him as advisor and priest, but mostly as friend.

Robert Meppelink
January 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

Ben was my friend and cousin from my earliest memories. We played together as kids, and Ben’s intelligence and imagination made him the most wonderful of playmates. We especially liked to wear capes and be Superman or draw out our imaginary spaceships and such on our Uncle Lawrence’s drawing boards. In our early teens, we crawled the various pipe organs of Holland, MI– Ben using his persuasive skills to gain entry into every notable church in the city, of course along with the keys to the organ console. I have always looked forward with delight to seeing Ben. I loved that cousin of mine. There is now a hole in my life where Ben was, but I will endeavor to fill it with the best of memories.

My deep condolences to Rob, Melissa, their spouses, and Ben’s grandchildren.

Brian Johnson
January 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Ben inspired us all with his sermons.

But not only that, he had a sympathetic ear for all that was going on in the real world, business, political, problems.

We so enjoyed visiting with him and also enjoyed the times he brought his grandchildren with him to All Saints.

Our deepest sympathy to his family.

Jeane and Harvey Johnson

Mark Rudd
January 24, 2013 at 9:44 am

My sympathies go out to Ben’s family and friends. I had the pleasure of getting to know Ben this past summer as he provided supply clergy for my church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Lansing, after our rector, Father Gordon Weller retired. Ben gave the second sermon after Father Weller’s retirement, when many of us were feeling down. In his sermon, he recognized the grief that we must be feeling, and then went on to inpsire us with words of thanksgiving for Father Weller’s ministry. I left that day feeling much better than when I arrived. I am sorry for the loss his family must be feeling now, and want them to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers. May the peace and grace of God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, be with them always.

Kelly Irish
January 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

Nothing in the world can replace our parents… to my dear long time friends Melissa Anne Diaz and Robert Baldus. Your father was a wonderful father, grandfather, Pastor, friend, and organist. I will never forget the wonderful times I got to spend with the Baldus family. They have always welcomed me in and treated like I was part of the family. “Dad will surely be missed.” God Bless Ben Baldus and may God welcome you with open arms…

Sen. Glenn S. Anderson
January 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

To Ben’s family:
I was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of my friend’s passing. As a member of the Michigan Legislature I interacted with Ben many times over the past 12 years. He was a caring advocate for those in our state that we not as fortunate as most. I will miss his friendly face and I know we are all better for having known Ben and our state is as well.
May God Bless his soul and comfort his family at this difficult time.

Sherri Solon
January 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

So very sad to hear of Ben’s passing he was a mentor and fellow advocate for the poor and vulnerable. He will be missed.

Sherri Solomon
January 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Ben joins the Angels and Saints! May they welcome him!

The Sederburg Family
January 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Our family has known Rev. Ben for a long time. He will certainly be missed. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Agnes Armstrong
January 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

While I never met Pastor Ben personally, he was a frequent voice in our discussions about pipe organs on the PIPORG-L website, and quite often, the voice of reason among those bickering about minor things. We will miss him. Rest in peace, Rev. Ben.

Christine Klatt
February 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Ben Baldus was truly one of the finest human beings I have ever known. We shared ministry at LSSM for many years, and I always admired his outspoken–often outraged–advocacy on behalf of those in need. He was a friend I could call on when I needed solace, advice, or just plain common sense. We parted paths when I moved up north, but had kept up with one another via Facebook, sharing Lutherpalian jokes, as well as funny church musician stories. I know God will enjoy having him home as much as we enjoyed having him here with us. Blessings and grace to the family whom he loved so much.

Roger A. Brown
July 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Ben was a classmate at the San Francisco Theological Seminary who introduced me to the art of Robert Hodgell. Only now, in the last year or so as I have wanted to sell my collection of art and found his address in my stored records did I turn to the internet. I believe I also saw his name in The Chimes in the memoriam section but didn’t think of using the internet. Ben was a great person who had a spiritual aura about him, well grounded and just a pleasure to be with while we shared that seminary experience together. I am so sorry of learn of his passing. I often wondered what his relationship to Hodgell was as he sold me several of his works and interestingly, Hodgell was born in Mankato, Kansas, my home state.
My heart-felt condolences to all his family and those who knew him best in what must have been a great ministry for the Lord.
Roger Brown


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