Willard W. Baumann, age 74, of Watertown, died Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, at his home.
He was born Aug. 13, 1934, in St. Bonifacius, the son of Ernest and Mabel (Lobitz) Baumann. Willard was baptized Sept. 9, 1934, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Watertown, and confirmed at the same March 21, 1948.
Willard received his elementary education in Watertown, completing the ninth grade. He quit school to help his parents farm.
He entered into the Army Jan. 16, 1957, training at Ft. Chaffee, AK. He was then stationed at Ft. Sill, OK until January 19, 1959. Willard drove for 163rd Transportation Company in Little Rock, AK during school integration.
After returning to Minnesota, Willard began working for Gedney Pickle Factory in Chaska.
He was united in marriage to JoAnn M. Moonen Oct. 10, 1959, at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Loretto by Father Pikal.
In March of 1959, Willard was hired by Watertown Co-op Grain and Fuel in the feed mill. He then drove bulk truck for years, before going to the fertilizer plant to help get it started because he knew the area and customers. After a successful start, he was asked to go back to the fuel oil dept., where he also drove a propane truck and remained until 1988. Centra Sota took over the co-op, and Willard continued to work there until his retirement in 1998.
Over the 39 years of employment, Willard had a lot of different board members, managers, and co-workers. He always said he never wanted to be a manager or boss, just a good employee.
Willie also had a Star Tribune Sunday paper route for 20 years, and was a volunteer fireman in Watertown for 30 years; serving as assistant chief, captain, and on the relief association.
Willie always took time to go to his children’s sporting events and band concerts, and enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s events. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to friends and neighbors, whether it was lawn cutting or shoveling snow.
He loved the outdoors, fishing both summer and winter; and was an avid reader. He enjoyed reading farm magazines and tractor books, and often read the encyclopedia from cover to cover.
Willie owned an antique 1946 Minneapolis Moline tractor that he was trying to restore. He liked going to tractor shows, loved old tyme music, and liked to travel. Willie was also a walker, and while walking, he always picked up litter cans, bottles, or papers.
Willie was a member of the Watertown Public Cemetery Board for six years. From 2002 until July of 2008, he was member of a group of Immaculate Conception Church volunteers called Charlie’s Angels, who did yard work for the church Thursday mornings.
He was always safety conscious, whether at home, church, or the workplace. He would even check his children homes and college apartments for their safety.
Willie was proud of his German ancestry, and proudly displayed the American Flag. The love of Christ and his commitment to prayer was evident in his life, and he lived and died secure in faith and confident in God’s plans for eternal life with him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mabel Baumann; an infant brother, DuWayne; brother-in-law LeRoy Weiland; and father-in-law Bernard Moonen.
Willard is survived by loving family; best friend and wife JoAnn; children and spouses Cheryl Fisher and special friend Terry Kittock of Montrose, Cindy Baumann and Jim Johnson of Maple Plain, Tim and Carla Baumann of Watertown, Charlene Baumann and fiancé Lee Feltmann of Lester Prairie, and Connie and Nathan Salonek of Montrose; grandchildren Sheena and Dana Fisher, Cami Baumann, Natalie and Chase Neumann, Lacy and Levi Baumann.; and great-granddaughter Kiana Rugut.
He is further survived by sisters and brothers-in-law Yvonne and Roger Mielke of Brooklyn Park, June Weiland of Brooklyn Park, and Phyllis and Terry Daisey of Minnetonka; mother-in-law Bernice Moonen of Delano; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law LeRoy and Marie Moonen, Ken and Bern Moonen, all of Delano, Gilbert and Gayle Moonen of Sturgeon Lake, Jerry and Cheryl Moonen of LaPorte, Marvin and Marlene Doboszenski of Hillman, Marvin and Nancy Moonen of Delano, and Tom and Marge Bigalke of Rochester; aunt Luverna Baumann of Watertown; nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial took place Saturday, Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown with Father Frank Wampach as celebrant. Interment was at Watertown Public Cemetery.
Visitation was Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, and continued Saturday for one hour prior to the Mass.
Casket bearers were Rick Mielke, Keith Mielke, Michelle Mielke, Dan Moonen, Mike Baumann, Chase Neumann. Honorary casket bearers were Sheena Fisher, Dana Fisher, Cami Baumann, Natalie Neumann, Lacy Baumann, Levi Baumann, and Kiana Rugut.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; online condolences available at www.johnsonfh.com.