1946 - 2012
Tom passed away peacefully Saturday, Dec 8, 2012, at the age of 66 with his family at his side, after an 11-month battle with brain cancer.
Thomas Henry Baumann was born on Oct. 14, 1946, in Marathon County, Wisc., near Halder, to Norbert and Dorothy (Peters) Baumann. Tom grew up on a dairy farm there and was the oldest of 10 children. He attended grade school at St. Roberts in Halder and one year at Mosinee High School in Mosinee, Wisc. After moving with his family to Walla Walla in 1961, he finished his last three years of school at DeSales High School, graduating in 1964.
Tom joined the Washington National Guard on Oct. 15, 1965, and was honorably discharged on Oct. 14, 1971. As a teenager, he loved restoring old cars, drag racing and motorcycles.
On Aug. 17, 1968, Tom married Susan Rae Fleming at Assumption Catholic Church in Walla Walla. They celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary this past August.
Tom joined the City of Walla Walla Fire Department on March 11, 1968, as a hose man. He then bypassed the driver position and graduated directly to lieutenant, then captain and retired as lieutenant on Oct. 31, 1996, after 28 plus years of service. He lived and loved his job and all of his Fire Department brothers and went back regularly to visit with them. His career was his life.
After retirement, Tom and Sue enjoyed lots of time camping at the river. He also enjoyed his Albertsons’ family, whom he saw almost every day even thru his illness, thanks to the help of his brother-in-law, Frank Noal. Frank was more like a brother to him, always there to drive him to the store every morning, to the Fire Station to visit his brothers, and on all other errands he needed to have done since he could no longer drive. They became attached at the hip. Fred Mitchell, his retired firefighter brother, was always at the station to drive him back home safely, which he greatly appreciated.
Tom’s family and in-laws were with him day and night in the nursing home, and they never left his side. This brought Tom great comfort and peace. Bless you all!
Tom is survived by his wife Sue of 44 years; mother-in-law, Betts Fleming; brother-in-law, Kelly Fleming and wife Mary; niece, Amanda Fleming, who was his personal little cupcake and like his own daughter; nephew, Brett Fleming in the U.S. Coast Guard in Virginia; and sister-in-law, Judy Teal and husband Gene all of Walla Walla. Tom is also survived by nine brothers and sisters: Carol ‘Frank’ Noal and Gene ‘Shari’ Baumann of Walla Walla; Bob ‘Kathy’ Baumann of Weston; Barbara Kinman of Phoenix, Ariz.; Fran ‘Mary’ Baumann of Chewelah, Wash.; Jerry Baumann and James Baumann of Walla Walla; Norbert Jr. ‘Trudy’ Baumann of Colville, Wash.; and Germaine ‘Steve’ Brown of Walla Walla. Tom is also survived by many nieces and nephews including, Christie Noal Klundt and Cathi Noal Swanson whom he regarded more like his own daughters as he spent so much time with them as they grew up. He also has many great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Norbert and Dorothy Baumann, and his father-in-law, Don Fleming.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery with Walla Walla Fire Department Chaplain Fr. Steven Wooley officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla Firemen’s Fund, Walla Walla Community Hospice or the Blue Mountain Humane Society through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA. Family & friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.