Peter A. Baldwin, of Gilmanton, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 10, at the age of 90. He spent his last day at his long-time home on Pancake Hill, in Lower Gilmanton, surrounded by family and friends.
Peter grew up on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where his father, Alfred Graham Baldwin, was school minister. After graduating from Middlebury College, Peter entered Boston University School of Theology, completing his degree in 1958. He was ordained to the Unitarian ministry. He continued his studies at Boston University, completing a PhD in psychology in 1964.
Peter served the American Unitarian Association as director of Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) in their Boston office. He also directed the youth and family summer programs at the Unitarian Universalist Rowe Camp. He taught at Tufts University before moving to Chicago in 1967 to teach at Meadville Lombard School of Theology, the Unitarian Universalist seminary at the University of Chicago. The family lived in South Shore, a residential neighborhood south of the University, from 1967 until 1973. They returned to Gilmanton to make their home on the property his parents had purchased as a summer home in 1931, and where Peter spent summers throughout his childhood.
Soon after returning to Gilmanton, Peter obtained his license as a psychologist and continued his practice, in offices in Keene and Gilmanton, until retirement about 2000. He has published three books about his unique approach to psychotherapy: Four and Twenty Blackbirds -Personae Theory and the Understanding of Our Multiple Selves (1997); Gleanings – a Collection of Teaching Stories and Reflections (2011); and A Scattering of Seeds: A Collection of Teaching Stories and Reflections (2014). In 2017 he published A Memoir describing life at the farm on Pancake Hill, from the time his parents purchased the True Osborne property – 40 acres house and barn – in 1931.
Peter was a gifted psychologist, teacher of psychology, and psychotherapist. He was known as an eloquent proponent of Ericksonian hypnosis, a process that emphasizes suggestion and non-linear thinking. Peter was a distinguished faculty member of the Antioch University New England Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology from its beginning in 1982. He taught a highly valued elective in his area of expertise. Students commented that he was able to open up areas of psychology they had never seen before. Peter’s clients attested to the deep relationships they developed with him and how they dealt with difficult problems, often smiling in the process.
Music was an important part of Peter’s life. He was a folk singer and story teller, accompanying himself on guitar. He was a founding member of the “Dissipated Eight”, a student octet at Middlebury. He made several recordings, and sang at gatherings and in church choirs throughout his life.
Peter was married to Carolyn W. Baldwin in 1955. Together they raised three children: Sarah Baldwin Welcome and Robert Henry Baldwin of Gilmanton, and Judith Baldwin Gleason of Concord. He is survived by Carolyn, their three children and their spouses, and four grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2022, 11 am, at the First Baptist Church on Route 107 in Lower Gilmanton. Gifts in memory may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee or the charity of your choice.