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IRA (CORKEY), 85
St. Augustine - George Ira Baumgartner, age 85, of St. Augustine, passed in peace on Saturday, June 28, 2014, surrounded at home by his loving family.
He was born on August 23, 1928, in Vero Beach, Florida to Frances Sargent and Thomas R. Baumgartner. Nicknamed "Corkey" by his Uncle Buster (George) as a toddler, and affectionately used by his family and lifelong friends. Raised in North Miami, he was a resident of St. Augustine since 2007.
George graduated from Edison High School, Miami, a first string starter in football. He met the love of his life, Doris Walke, at his 16th birthday party. They were married on August 19, 1946 in Covington, KY.
He drove semis for five years for Standard Oil Co., while building his first home. Earning his Florida Certified General Contractor's License, he incorporated Baumgartner Construction in 1964, and built churches, temples, nursing homes, and FPL service centers in South Florida. He converted to the Catholic faith, 1957, "a great day in our lives", culminating in Knighthood, Order of Malta, St. Patrick's Cathedral, NYC, 1992.
Exalted Ruler of the BPOE Lodge #1835 at age 27. Elected Vice Mayor of North Miami, in 1963, followed by Florida State House of Representatives, 1968 - 1974.
Moved the family company to Gainesville in 1976, developing Emerald Woods subdivision, multiple projects at Paynes Prairie State Preserve, and Bell and Trenton High Schools, serving as President of Gainesville Homebuilders, 1981.
Retired in 1994, George and Doris enjoyed following the Gators as loyal Boosters and Scholarship Partners in their motor home, and playing golf at the Gainesville Golf and Country Club. Active member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, George chaired the Construction and Design Committee. Joining Corpus Christi Parish, St. Augustine, in 2007, he served as Financial Secretary of Knights of Columbus through 2013.
Loving family members include: his wife and soulmate Doris Mae Walke Baumgartner; children, Kathleen (John) Kish, George Patrick, Mary (George) Grady, John (Tammi); grandchildren, Kelley Kish, Kristi (Darren) McClellan, Kari (Jason) Knoblauch, Hannah Baumgartner, George Connor Grady; great- grandchildren, Joshua, John, and Maxwell McClellan and Kathleen, Kelsey, and Julia Mae Knoblauch.
"God has been my partner along the way, always guiding every step. He has given me four children, and an outstanding wife as a steadying force in my life. God has filled our hearts with love and compassion. Thank you, Lord."
Prayer service will be held Thursday, July 3, 2014, 5:00pm, with visitation continuing until 7:30pm, at St. John's Family Funeral Home, 385 State Road 207, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
Funeral mass will be held Saturday, July 5, 2014, at 10:00am, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6175 Datil Pepper Road, St. Augustine, FL 32086. A reception will follow at the fellowship hall immediately following the Mass.
St. Johns Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
St. John's Family Funeral Home & Crematory
385 SR 207
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Published in Gainesville Sun from July 1 to July 2, 2014