WHITESBORO – Charles E. (Edison) Baum, 95, was born July 19, 1917 to Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Baum, Sr. in Whitesboro, Texas. He is the great grandson of Ambrose B. White, who founded Whitesboro in 1848. His mother, Callie, was the granddaughter of Ambrose.|
Charles, better known as Charlie, graduated from high school in 1937. On June 6, 1941, he volunteered for the Army Air Force at the age of 24. He became a Prisoner of War (POW) on April 9, 1942 when Bataan fell. He survived the Bataan Death March to be a POW for 42 months. He was liberated in September 1945 at the end of the war and returned to Whitesboro on Oct. 26, 1945.
The U.S. Army awarded him the American Defense Service Ribbon with a Bronze Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, the Distinguished Unit Badge with two oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, and a Victory ribbon. The Philippine Defense Medal was given to him by the Philippine Government.
After being discharged from the service, Charlie married Waunema Ruth Chisum on June 24, 1946. They had two daughters, Kay Baum Moczygemba and Susan Baum Cox. He served on the Draft Board in Sherman. He attended Austin College in 1948 for one year. He was appointed Postmaster of Whitesboro in 1951 until he began teaching in 1953 for Whitesboro Junior High. While teaching, he continued his education at night and during the summer at Austin College. He graduated from Austin College with a B.A. Degree in 1955. At Whitesboro Junior High, he taught math, science, health and physical education. He also made his presence known as a coach for girls' basketball, boys' football and track. He coached his girls' basketball teams in the old rock gym he played in as a student in the 1930's. He taught until 1965, when he once again became Whitesboro Postmaster. He continued as Postmaster until 1981, when he decided to retire.
Charlie was a member of the First United Methodist Church since August 1924. He joined the Rotary Club of Whitesboro in 1946 and attended noon meetings when he could. He was a member of the Whitesboro Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Preservation Board for the Sullivan House. He was an active participant in the Whitesboro Centennial Celebrations in 1973.
Besides playing cards or dominoes, Charlie enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Waunema Baum; his daughters, Kay Moczygemba and husband, John; and Susan Cox; grandchildren, Gina Garvin, Kevin Garvin and wife, Renee, Christi Strange and husband, Jason, and Mike Cox; great-grandchildren, Grant Garvin, Riley Stricker, Noah Strange, Cade Strange, Connor Hastcoat, Ruby Cox and Charlie Cox; numerous nieces and nephews, including Jeanette Harris, Gerald Baum and George Baum.
He was preceded in death by his parents, G.C., Sr. and Callie Baum; brothers, G.C. Baum Jr. and Al Baum; and grandson, Charlie Cox.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the Meador Funeral Home Chapel in Whitesboro, with Rev. Ken Hildebrand officiating assisted by Glyn Rives. Interment will follow the service at Oakwood Cemetery in Whitesboro. Visitation services will be held from 7 -8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Whitesboro, P. O. Box 370, Whitesboro, TX 76273.
Pallbearers will be Mike Allen, Jon Brown, Phil Harris, Trent West, Taylor Harris, James Aldridge and Payton West. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe West, Wayne Chisum and the members of the Whitesboro Rotary Club.
To sign the online registry, please go to www.meadorfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Herald Democrat on May 8, 2013