Obituaries in South Bend, IN | South Bend Tribune (2024)

Jimita Pia Baldoni Potter, age 74, of Granger, Indiana, peacefully passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at the “Ernestine M. Raclin House” with her husband and daughters by her side.

Born in Mishawaka on March 10, 1950, to the late Libero and Lucille (Nowak) Baldoni, Jimita lived a life marked by passion, integrity, and dedication to her family and community. She is preceded in death by her brother, the Honorable Paul Baldoni, sister-in-law, Gail Potter, and brother-in-law, David Potter.

Jimita is survived by her devoted husband of 46 years, Phil, and her two determined daughters, Jackie (Patrick) Mullin of Granger and Julia (Kiel Bobb) Potter-Bobb of Indianapolis. She also leaves behind her three cherished grandchildren: Jameson, Elizabeth, and August, as well as her beloved siblings, Debbie Baldoni, Mitch (Deborah) Baldoni, Barbara Baldoni, and Mary (Wayne) Troiola, and beloved nieces and nephews.Despite her petite 5’2” frame, Jimita had a commanding presence, and if there was one word to encapsulate her spirit, it would be "passionate." She was committed to her beliefs and causes, supporting them with both words and action.

Growing up modestly in Mishawaka, Jimita was deeply influenced by her family's political engagement. She was a lifelong Democrat and graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1968. She earned a degree in Education from Ball State University in 1972 and went on to work for Senator Vance Hartke in Washington, D.C. She fondly recalled this time for its spirit of collaboration, despite political differences.

On July 4th, 1976, Jimita and Phil were engaged under the Golden Dome of Notre Dame, a moment they celebrated every year with a heartfelt "would you still marry me?" In October 1977, they married at the Sacred Heart Basilica and began their married life with a move to Waycross, GA.

Jimita and Phil’s early married life was filled with adventure, including trips to Egypt, Ireland, and several moves. After moving from Waycross to Atlanta, Jimita became an avid tennis player, winning a city championship with her team. When they later relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, she continued to nurture her family and enjoy tennis.

After 14 years in the South, returning to the Granger area marked a new chapter for Jimita. Her involvement with the Junior League of South Bend rekindled her activist spirit. She served the League for 20 years, including a term as President from 2002 to 2003. She was particularly passionate about the State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) and her involvement in the Silent Witness Project, which raised awareness about domestic violence. Jimita's dedication to her community was recognized in 2017 when she received the Drum Major Award for community service from Mayor Dave Wood.

She was a firm believer in the transformative power of education. She began her teaching career in Waycross shortly after getting married. As a lover of history, she wanted to expose her students to the wonders of the outside world. She was excited to be able to take her 7th grade class on a field trip to Savannah. For some of her students, this was their first time travelling outside the county. After taking time off to raise her daughters, she returned to teaching social studies at the former Byrkit Alternative High School. She strived to bring out the best in her students and be the teacher they needed her to be.

When Jimita wasn’t volunteering or teaching, you could find her at the golf course with Jackie and Julia. For many years, her summers were spent traveling to golf tournaments around the country watching the girls play. It was a precious time with many fond memories.

Later in life, Jimita enjoyed a second career at Notre Dame, working in Development as an Administrative Assistant, which allowed her to continue supporting an institution that was integral to her life. In her post-retirement years, she and Phil traveled extensively and cherished time with their grandchildren. Despite her battle with cancer, Jimita fulfilled her dreams of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and a long-awaited trip to Hawaii, remaining vibrant and full of life until her final days.

Jimita’s legacy of passion, integrity, and unwavering commitment to her family and community will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by all who knew her.

A visitation will be held on July 9th from 4-8 PM at Hahn Funeral Home with a rosary at 7:30 PM. A funeral mass will be held at St. Pius X on July 10th at 10:30 AM, with visitation an hour prior at church. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Mishawaka.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jimita Potter may be made to the Junior League of South Bend Endowment, Riverbend Cancer Services, Center for Hospice Care, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Posted online on July 04, 2024

Published in South Bend Tribune

Obituaries in South Bend, IN | South Bend Tribune (2024)
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