Thomas Joseph Baginski, a retired Baltimore City Fire Department battalion chief whose career spanned 41 years, died of cancer March 30 at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Parkville resident was 72.
Mr. Baginski, who was born and raised in Baltimore, was a 1953 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, where he played varsity football. He served in the Army for several years before joining the Fire Department in 1958.
He was promoted to pump operator and lieutenant in 1964, and captain six years later. In 1973, he was appointed battalion chief and assigned as an instructor to the department's training academy on Pulaski Highway.
From 1996 to 1999, when he retired, Mr. Baginski was battalion chief six. In this position, he was responsible for the southern section of the city, including Brooklyn and Curtis Bay.
"He was a wonderful man and a by-the-book officer. My whole career was closely tied to his, and I enjoyed working with him at the fire academy," said Hector Torres, who retired in 2002 as the department's public information officer.
Mr. Baginski had been a member of the Maryland Fire Rescue Education and Training Commission, the Council of Fire Rescue Academies and the Instructor Certification Review Board.
He enjoyed vacationing in Ocean City and playing golf at Rocky Point Golf Club and Mount Pleasant Golf Course. He was also an avid Ravens and Orioles fan.
Mr. Baginski was a communicant of St. Isaac Jogues Roman Catholic Church, where a funeral Mass was offered Thursday.
Surviving are his wife of 49 years, the former Mary Earhardt; a son, David Baginski of Abingdon; three daughters, Judy Gentry of Cockeysville, Karen Barba of Seattle and Linda Durkota of Lancaster, Pa.; a brother, Raymond Baginski of Livingston, Texas; a sister, Theresa Caro of Lutherville; and 11 grandchildren.