Nurse proud of her heritage

Published in the April 13, 2016 edition

Elise-Baldi-webMELROSE — Elsie M. (Elo) Baldi, a lifelong resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 4, 2016 at Aberjona Nursing Center in Winchester, at age 88.

Born on May 21, 1927 in Boston, Elsie was one of three daughters of Finnish parents, the late Waino and Selma Elo. She was raised in Melrose, graduated from Melrose High School and attended Whidden Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. Elsie was a dedicated caregiver throughout her over 30 years in nursing. She began her career at Malden Hospital as a certified nursing assistant and was recruited to work at the Normandy House by the original founders. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Elsie was very proud of her family, her Finnish heritage, and had a great respect and appreciation for her parents. She enjoyed the culture and food of Finland and practiced speaking Finnish throughout her life, especially with her dear lifelong friend and fellow Finn, Bertha Brickley of Melrose. Known for her inner strength, Elsie often repeated the Finnish word “sisu,” encouraging herself and others in her family to be resilient and persevere. A longtime member of the Finlandia Foundation in Boston, she always identified with Finnish character and kept her roots close to her heart.

In her free time, Elsie was a devoted gardener and caretaker of many plants and flowers in her yard. The daughter of a green thumb, Elsie cared for the same plants and flowers that her father had planted. Her family was of particular importance and she cherished holidays and special events spent together. She also played the accordion, enjoyed dancing, bargain shopping, collecting stamps, coins and antiques. She was a longtime member of the First Lutheran Church in Malden.

Determined yet thoughtful, Elsie was a selfless family woman who was always optimistic and cherished her time with family. Her memory will live on in the hearts of her family and friends.

Elsie was the beloved wife of Eugene A. Baldi Jr., with whom she shared nearly 70 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of John Baldi and his wife Cathy of Melrose, Peter Baldi and his wife Donna of Sarasota, Fla., Nancy Ahrabi-Nejad and her husband Arman of Northborough, Jeannie Rahilly of Bethel, Maine and the late David Baldi.

She was the dear sister of Ethel Kujanpaa of Florida and Helen Munroe of Lynnfield. She was the cherished grandmother of Eric Baldi, Melissa Baldi, John Baldi, Andrew Baldi, Sean Rahilly, Alissa Rahilly, Sonia Ahrabi-Nejad, Nadine Ahrabi-Nejad and Corrine Ahrabi-Nejad. She was the loving great-grandmother of Danielle, Thomas, Colleen, Evan, Nathan, Adam, Emilia, Henry and Chloe. She was the caring sister-in-law of Florence Wall and her husband Frank of Methuen and Pauline Simkin and her husband Terry of New Hampshire. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Elsie’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose, on Friday, April 8, and for her Funeral Service celebrated at the First Lutheran Church, 98 Waite St., Malden on Saturday, April 9. Interment was in Wyoming Cemetery. Gifts in Elsie’s memory may be made to First Lutheran Church, 98 Waite St., Malden MA 02148. For online tribute visit