Vincent J. Baum
Vincent J. Baum, decorated Air Force Veteran and former Grand Chute Fire Chief, died peacefully at his Appleton home, surrounded by his loving family at the age of 96. Vince was born in Grand Chute on August 19, 1917, son of the late John A. and Katherine (Gengler) Baum - the fourth of six children. He grew up on the sixty-four acre family farm on North Richmond Street, where Vince began milking at the age of 6. At times, twenty-four acres of the farm were dedicated to green beans and wax beans - area kids picked the beans, then the crop was sent off for canning at Hortonville or Seymour. He attended St. Joseph School in Appleton and graduated with honors from Appleton High School in 1936. He soon met Buelah Mancl who lived on Appleton's north side, and he promised his love to her before leaving to serve in the Army Air Force World War II. Vince served in the 927 Signal Corps and saw three D-Day invasions and nine battles in Europe during his three-year duty. His commendations included the European-African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with one silver and four bronze stars, Bronze Service Arrowhead, Five Overseas service bars, one service stripe, a good conduct medal, the Meritorious Unit Award, and Presidential Unit Citation. He was able to locate Buelah several times while she was stationed overseas as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Nurse Corps, and the couple married in Paris, France on June 15, 1945, before returning to the United States. Vince hand-built their new family home while taking on the responsibility of the farm and the care of his parents. In 1995, his beloved wife of fifty years, Buelah died after a lengthy dementia related illness.
Vince had been extremely active in the community over the years. For forty years, Vince served as Fire Chief of the Grand Chute Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Vince was ahead of the times by advancing training, ground communication, apparatus, and mutual aid agreements for the good of the community and the safety of firefighters. Vince initiated the first Fire Cadet program in Wisconsin, was involved with the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association, charter member and longtime member of Fox Valley Chief's Association, Advisory Board member for Fire Science at Fox Valley Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Safety League, initiated the first Fire Cadet program in Wisconsin, and was an honorary member of the Wisconsin Fire Mechanics Association. By the time he had retired from the department in 1991, it had doubled in size and was ranked in the top fifty among Wisconsin's 850 fire departments.
He volunteered as a main leader of the Woodlawn 4-H Club, chairman of the Outagamie County ASCS Committee, board member of the Appleton Vocational School, Charter member and vice president of Outagamie County Soil Improvement Association, was honored for his public service in soil conservation and farm policy, was a member of Jacob Coppus Post #258 of the American Legion, and was treasurer of the SuniSands Association in Jupiter, Florida.
Vince was blessed with the gift of a second loving marriage to Patricia (nee Heinemann) Calnin Baum on November 18, 1996. He truly treasured the seventeen he shared with Patricia. Together, they continued to enjoy Vince's love of travel.
He is survived by his wife: Patricia Calnin Baum of Appleton. He will also be sadly missed by his nine loving children: John Baum (special friend Darlene Bagstad) of town of Center; Mary Kay (George Swamp) Baum of Dodgeville; Christine (Wade) Van Ryzin of Appleton; Richard (Anna Threlfall) Baum of Kennan; Edward (Beverly) Baum of Shiocton; Kenneth (Jeanne) Baum of town of Center; Charles (Sharie) Baum of town of Center; Rosann (Doug Milius) Baum Milius of Oshkosh; Rodger (Anna) Baum of town of Center. Vince also leaves behind twenty-five grandchildren, twenty-five great-grandchildren, and his dog companion Benji.
Other survivors include a brother: Ray Baum of Appleton; a sister: Rosemary Probst of Kimberly; three sisters-in-law: Germaine Doerfler of Appleton, Donna Mancl of Appleton, and Earline Mancl of Reeseville.
Vince was also loved dearly by Patricia's family. They include her children: Steven (Ann) Calnin of Hortonville; Mark (Karrie) Calnin of Clintonville; Amy (Joe) Nimmer of Greenville; Anna (Rodger) Baum of town of Center; and Patrick (Kelly) Calnin of Wild Rose. Pat also has thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law: Marge Heinemann of Rhinelander and Mechtilda Calnin of Richland Center, Lorraine Calnin of Hilbert, and Alice Stingle of Appleton. There are also countless nieces, nephews, God-children, cousins, other relatives, and dear friends.
Vince was preceded in death by his wife Buelah in 1995 and her parents August and Frances Mancl; his siblings: Fr. John "Pete" Baum, Genevieve Peters, Margaret (Anton) Vanderloop, and George (Mars) Baum; and a great-grandson Justin Griffin; and his sisters-in-laws: Georgiana Baum, Mary Louise (Vince) Simon, Joan (Chester) Meiers, Bernice (Roman) Janssen, Mabel (Elmer) Wilson, Julia (Lee) Fischer; Pat's first husband Frank Calnin, her parents Joseph and Helen Heinemann, and their son Christopher Calnin; his brothers-in-law: Heraclus Probst, Henry Doerfler, Robert Mancl, John Mancl, James Heinemann, Richard Calnin, Earl Calnin, and Lavern Stingle; a niece: Marcy Baum; and two nephews: Peter Baum and Mike Janssen.
The funeral liturgy for Vince will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, December 23, 2013 at ST. PIUS X CATHOLIC CHURCH, 500 W. Marquette Street in Appleton, with Fr. Thomas Farrell officiating. Complete military honors will follow the service, and burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Appleton. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N. Superior Street in Appleton on Sunday, December 22, 2013 from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM, and again Monday at the church from 9:00 AM until the time of the funeral liturgy. There will be a special visitation time for area firefighters at 2:00 PM Sunday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be offered at www.wichmannfargo.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial funds have been established for the Grand Chute Fire Explorers Post #9764, Outagamie County 4-H Youth Program, Alzheimer's Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin (ADAW), and Pink-Party BCF Cancer Foundation.
The family would like to offer their special thanks to the wonderful and caring staff at Renaissance Assisted Living in Appleton, especially to Danielle Hamblin. Everyone at AseraCare Hospice was equally wonderful. We will never forget the kindness and love you have shown to all of us.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Dec. 21, 2013