Ernest “Ernie” A. Baldini
July 8, 1926 – March 4, 2019
Former President of the Florida Trail Association
Indian River Chapter: FTA President (1982-1989), Cartographer
FTA Awards: Cornelia Burge 1984, Special Service 2002 & Lifetime Achievement 2005
Ernest Baldini, 92, a retired aerospace executive, died on March 4, 2019 in Rockledge, FL. Baldini, born in Detroit, Michigan, July 8, 1926. He was a veteran of World War II in the U. S. Army Signal Corps, was an electrical engineering graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology. He started his career at Detroit Edison Co. and later was Supervisor of Electrical Operations, General Motors Corporate Engineering Staff. He came to Brevard County in 1957 and became a General Dynamics Corp. Launch Conductor leading the first Atlas-Centaur launch in May, 1962. Later in his career he directed Defense Dept. satellite launch operations for The Aerospace Corporation.
He served as President and Cartographer of the Florida Trail Association and as District Com-modore, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
An active radio amateur, K4RBD, he served the Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS) as one of its founders, as Treasurer and Director. He belonged to the Indian River Amateur Radio Club and was a founder of the Launch Information Service & Amateur Television System (LISATS) which has supplied thousands of tourists with Cape Canaveral launch countdown soundcasts.
He is survived by daughter, Anita Simpson, husband, Richard and granddaughter, Ashley; son, Marcus Baldini; wife, Pamela and grandson, Matthew. He was preceded by his wife, Jean.
From Doug Sphar, Indian River Chapter Member & Section Leader of Tosohatchee WMA
I knew Ernie when he was the FTA Cartographer. No GIS or computer graphics in those days. Ernie worked from paper USGS topo quads on a drafting board, with pen and ink, drafting tape, and drafting instruments. One notable incident: The St. Johns River Water Management District invited FTA representatives on a tour of the newly purchased Seminole Ranch property with the idea of proposing a trail there. Ernie, former FTA President Karl Eichhorn, and myself were in Ernie’s FWD Ford Bronco. We were following the District’s vehicle down through a wide ditch when the Bronco got stuck in the middle. Thank goodness, the District’s truck had a winch, which pulled us out of the ditch! And of course, the FTA accepted the challenge of building trail there.