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Leslie P. Baumann, 87

Leslie “Les” Paul Baumann, age 87, of Lester Prairie, died Thursday, April 21, 2011, at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

He was born Jan. 5, 1924, in Lester Prairie, the son of Fred and Rose (Weise) Baumann. Leslie was baptized as an infant, Jan. 27, 1924, by the Rev. H. B. Witzke at the German Evangelical Church, and was confirmed in his faith as a youth at the Evangelical & Reformed Church, Palm Sunday, April 15, 1938, by the Rev. M. Seybold in Lester Prairie.

Leslie served his country as a first lieutenant in the US Army Air Corp during World War Two. He was a navigator for 8th Air Force 801st/492nd Bombardment Group (H), known as The Carpetbaggers. He was also part of the OSS, today known as the CIA. This group flew clandestine night missions from Harrington Field, a secret airbase in central England. Leslie was proud of having received the Distinguished Flying Cross, as well as the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.

After his honorable discharge, he returned home and joined the family business at Weise & Kuhlmann, Inc. Hardware store in Lester Prairie. He also managed the manufacturing operations for barn equipment at the Weise & Kuhlmann factory.

Leslie was united in marriage to Dorothy Oszman May 10, 1946, at St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church in St. Paul by the Rev. Erwin R. Koch. This marriage was blessed with two sons, Gary and David. Leslie and Dorothy shared over 64 years of marriage.

Leslie was a member of the Lester Prairie American Legion Post 463, and active with the Boy Scouts. A lifelong member of Prairie Community Church (UCC), Leslie served as a past member on the church council.

He enjoyed reading, fishing, and fixing anything, not only for himself, but for others. He also liked collecting things, especially war memorabilia.

Leslie loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandson.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Baumann of Lester Prairie; children, Gary Baumann of Mesquite, TX, and David Baumann and his wife, Kathy, of Lester Prairie; grandchildren, Angela Baumann of Brooklyn Center, Michelle Baumann, and Brian Baumann, both of Lester Prairie; great-grandson Benjamin Baumann; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and many friends.

Leslie was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Rose Baumann; and a sister, Carolyn Birkholz, and her husband, Bruce.

Funeral services took place Wednesday, April 27 at 11 a.m. at the Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie, with interment in the Lester Prairie City Cemetery. Pastor Bill Baldwin officiated at the services. The organist was Marie Eischens. Congregational hymns were “How Great Thou Art” and “Abide With Me.”

Casket bearers were Angela Baumann, Michelle Baumann, Brian Baumann, Bruce Birkholz, Donn Birkholz, and Roy Bach.

Arrangements were by the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel of Lester Prairie. Online obituaries and guest book available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.