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  • Writer's pictureAbby Fowler

In memoriam of Mr. Thomas Baldridge


Since the sad news of Mr. Thomas Baldridge's passing in January, Global Ties Iowa has been collecting testimonies and stories about his impact on our community.

Tom served as the Executive Director of Global Ties Iowa (formerly CIVIC) from 1987 to 2007. He was named a Global Ties Iowa lifetime member in 2016 in honor of his dedication to citizen diplomacy. As an activist, veteran, diplomat, Hawkeye fan, and an active member in many local communities, his spirit was inspirational and will be dearly missed.

“May his memory be eternal. I visited Washington DC and attended our [Global Ties] National Meeting with Tom. He explained Foggy Bottom and stopped by our congressman at the time, Jim Leach. It was an eye-opening experience, thank you, Tom and may you rest in peace.”

-Newman Abuissa

“In the early 1990s was when I began being involved with Council of Visitors to Iowa Cities because Tom was that dynamic and most energetic leader who went out of his way to make sure every program was complete. He was so thorough and followed through with every detail of those international visits that I wanted to be a part of this organization. You could tell he ate, drank and slept his role as a leader during that time.

We always had lots of laughs. I wanted to be part of his orbit because he brought out the best in all of us, (the visitors certainly saw the best of Iowa Cities because he made it so). We wanted to be involved. He was really a dynamo as a facilitator. I Iiked and enjoyed him so, so much.”

-Jeanne Stoakes


“Such a kind human."

-Mark Nolte

“Speaking of our diligent, devoted executive director, Tom Baldridge received an Advocacy Award from the National Council for International Visitors. The award was for his persistent efforts, prodding elected officials to get more involved with the International Visitors program. And for getting results. He was able to arrange for Senator Charles Grassley to address the Midwest Regional meeting of the National Council for International Visitors two years ago in Des Moines.

He also recruited Representative Jim Leach to join a colleague in writing a memo to fellow members of the House of Representatives in support of an expansion to the International Visitors Program of the State Department.”

-May 2003 Newsletter

“I’ll never forget the button, ‘He Lied’, which Tom (Baldridge) wore on his pocket.”

-Unknown visitor, June 2004 Newsletter

Tom's memorial mass will be held on February 16th at St. Mary's Catholic Church. To read more details about his life and this service, find his obituary here.

We are still accepting testimonials and stories about Tom to share in his honor. Please reach out to Global Ties Iowa staff at (319) 569-1115 or connect@globaltiesiowa.org if you would like to share your memories of Tom with us.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who donated to us in his memory, and we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Tom's family.


(Left to right) Tom Baldridge, Marianne Weiss, and Jeanne Cadoret are awarded the Lifetime Membership Award at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

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