MoonDogs, Too owner succumbs to cancer

Darryl Baldwin, the owner of MoonDogs, Too, died April 23 after battling cancer for several years. - File Photo
Darryl Baldwin, the owner of MoonDogs, Too, died April 23 after battling cancer for several years.
— image credit: File Photo

Port Orchard and the South Kitsap community is mourning the loss of a well-known business owner.

MoonDogs, Too owner Darryl Eugene Baldwin, 57, died April 23.

“Darryl passed away peacefully in his sleep,” stated Shelia Cline, Baldwin’s girlfriend, who announced his passing in an email.

A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, for the Port Orchard business owner.

The service will be held at the First Lutheran Community Church, 2483 Mitchell Road SE.

South Kitsap Helpline Executive Director Jennifer Hardison was saddened by the news.

“It doesn’t seem real,” said Hardison. “Despite knowing losing him was inevitable, realizing that Darryl is now gone is truly heartbreaking. Her was an incredibly generous and kind man and such a wonderful friend to so many, including the South Kitsap Helpline. The world is darker today knowing that he is gone. Darryl will always be missed. Our community just won’t be the same without him.”

Mayor Tim Matthes, who honored Baldwin as one of his “Points of Light” in 2013, said Baldwin was a good friends and great supporter of the city.

“He will be missed by myself and everyone who ever knew him,” Matthes said. “We’re seeing a great resurgence of downtown that he was a big part of. He will be looking down on that resurgence of downtown from far above.”

Amy Igloi Creed, owner of Amy’s on the Bay, said the community is a better place because of Baldwin’s vision and contributions.

“He was a gentle, kind soul who believed in serving others and giving back,” she said. “He was an inspiration to those who knew him, that worked beside him and was able to even positively impact people he had never met.”

Christine Daniel, executive director of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, said the city will “forever have a hole in its heart by the loss of a good friend.”

“Darryl Baldwin was far more than just a well-liked pub owner of MoonDogs, Too.  He was a pillar in our community,” said Daniel. “Beyond being a good business leader, Darryl has left a legacy of piety that will be remembered for years to come and he will be a tough act to follow.”

He was born Dec. 9, 1956, to Eugene and Frieda Baldwin. Baldwin was raised on the family farm near Hope, N.D. and he attended school in Finley, N.D.

His first non-farm job took him to Chicago, from there he moved to California to further pursue his career.

He started MoonDogs, Too in the location formerly known as Port Orchard Tavern in 2007.

“His qualifications were that he was a self-professed foodie and liked to brew his own beer,” according to a written statement from his family. “In normal Darryl fashion, he put his whole self in — all his energy and drive — to make MoonDogs, Too the local hotspot.”

In 2009, he was named as “Man of the Year” and his business was recognized as the “2013 Small Business of the Year” by the Chamber.

After purchasing the building in December 2012, Baldwin started plans to renovation the kitchen because it was too small.

The renovations added approximately 325 square feet to the building and enabled the coolers and freezers outside to be moved inside. It also created more counter space for the cooks and provided more dry storage room.

During the holidays, Baldwin’s businesses served free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the past seven years.

“His farm roots and generous nature led him to give back with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the local community, donating to local charities and sponsorships,” stated his family. “He always wanted to empower his staff — mentoring his employees — encouraging them to do and be their best.”

For the past several years, the North Dakota native has been battling stage 4 Merkel cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Doctors found three new tumors in December and informed Baldwin, who was undergoing chemotherapy, that they were inoperable.

Baldwin’s battle with cancer forced him to put his business up for sale in January.

Chris Chancellor contributed to the story.


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