For Immediate Release — Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
SUNY Geneseo Receives a Quarter of a Million Dollars From Estate of Retired Librarian
GENESEO, N.Y. — A retired librarian who "enjoyed every minute" of her time at the State University of New York at Geneseo, and told her brother to "remember Geneseo" upon her death, had her wishes honored.
Albert E. Trask Jr. recently donated a quarter of a million dollars from the estate of his sister, Eleanor Trask Baldwin, to SUNY Geneseo. He mailed a check of $243,625.17 to the college in late September, a year after his 92-year-old sister died from heart problems.
"She always told me, 'Remember Geneseo,'" said Trask. "She said, 'I enjoyed every minute of it.' So that's a testimonial."
Baldwin received her teaching certificate in elementary education in 1932 from Geneseo, when the college was a "normal," or teacher training, school. She went on to a successful career as a public librarian, working in Pleasantville, New Rochelle and Herkimer, all in New York state. She also served as director of the Herkimer Free Library from 1947-53 before returning to Geneseo to receive her bachelor's degree in library science. After she received her degree in 1954, she moved to Westchester County, where she worked as a school librarian, said her brother.
"It is touching that Mrs. Baldwin made this special request of her brother and we are very grateful to Mr. Trask for honoring her wishes," said Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl. "This extraordinary generosity is a wonderful tribute to both of them and a profound blessing to us as we seek to keep Geneseo a wonderful place for future generations of students."
Baldwin was a librarian in the Herkimer School District and then moved to Westchester County, where she remained for the rest of her career. She married Martin S. Baldwin, a native of Pennsylvania, who taught physical education.
In 1967, Baldwin, who was widowed, retired from her job as Hartsdale Schools librarian to move back to the family homestead in Little Falls, N.Y., to care for an aging parent.
"She wanted to come here to look after her mother," said Trask.
Their mother, Grace Trask, had attended the Oswego Normal School and taught kindergarten before she married and had children. Their father, Albert, was in the wholesale business.
Trask said his sister enjoyed playing piano when she was younger; she also enjoyed reading.
"She was always reading," he said. "She took to the library."
In retirement, she enjoyed spending time playing cards, especially Bridge, with her friends in Little Falls.
"She rather enjoyed herself," he said. "She enjoyed life."