Anthony Baldini, 88, passed away surrounded by his family and loved ones on October 13, 2016, in Napa, California, following a long battle with dementia. Tony was born on August 8, 1928, in Richmond, California, of Italian immigrant parents, Giorgio and Yolanda (Ferry) Baldini. Tony graduated from Mount Diablo High School in Concord, California. He was captain of the football team and earned the nickname “swivel hips Baldini” for his moves on the gridiron.
In the fall of 1950 Tony was drafted into the U.S. Army and upon completion of Basic Training at Camp Roberts California, he and Joan were married on December 30, 1950. Following Tony’s service in the U.S. Army, he and Joan returned to Walnut Creek and obtained his General Engineering Contractor’s License.
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In the early sixties, Tony met Katie and Gene Trefethen, who hired him to care for, expand, and develop their 40 acre walnut ranch the “North 40” into a 135 acre ranch. In 1968, after four years of a successful farming relationship with the Trefethen’s, Gene offered Tony the opportunity to manage 750 adjoining acres on the Napa Valley floor consisting of some neglected vineyards, undeveloped land, and acres of prunes, apples, and peaches. Tony developed these parcels into a sustainable vineyard business for the succeeding generations of Trefethen’s to follow.
Tony also spent many years participating and consulting in numerous Ag related organizations including, California Farm Bureau, Napa County Sanitation Board, Member of the water education foundation. He also served for 22 years on Napa County Ag District Fair Board, to which he was appointed by both Republican and Democrat Governors. He was awarded the first Foremost-McKesson “Bacchus” award. After retiring from Trefethen Vineyards, Tony and Jean settled in Yountville.
Tony leaves his wife of 66 years, Joan; his children Stephen, James, Michael (Debbie Ewert), Susan, Mary (Durke) Pilegaard, Nancy (Scott)Wright, Tony Jr. (Caroline Semmens), and Daniel; 31 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.
A Rosary and Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at St. Apollinaris Catholic Church in Napa, California, beginning at 11:30 a.m. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center at 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, California. Memorial donations may be made to the Antonio Julio Baldini Family Scholarship, established at Napa Valley College for outstanding viticulture, wine industry, and business students. Memories may be shared at www.tulocaycemetery.org.