William I. “Bill” Baum, 90, 1906 Park Avenue, Escanaba, passed away on October 13, 2014, after a courageous battle with lung cancer.
Bill was born in Escanaba on March 6, 1924, the son of Abe and Lena (Davis) Baum. He graduated from Escanaba High School Class of 1942 where he was a member of the U.P. Championship football team of 1940 and 1941. He also lettered in track and tennis for the Eskymos.
He married the love of his life, June F. Ranguette, on July 18, 1946, and they were subsequently married for over 60 years when she preceded him in death on January 17, 2007.
After high school Bill attended the University of Michigan for two years before returning home to work with his father at Baum’s Hardware in downtown Escanaba from 1946 until 1962. Upon his father’s death in 1951, he managed the well known business for his mother.
He found his professional niche in 1962 when he accepted an opportunity with the Monarch Life Insurance Company as a Field Underwriter (insurance agent) in Escanaba. That he was successful in this endeavor is evidenced by the many awards, prizes, and wonderful trips that he deservedly earned. He was most proud of his 21 consecutive Key Club awards signifying the company’s top producers, and his charter membership into the elite “Golden Circle.” He genuinely enjoyed helping his clients and friends through difficult financial times. He retired from “The Monarch” in 1983.
Bill enjoyed reading, golfing- where he had four holes-in-one, card playing, fine dining, vacationing in Door County, WI, and dancing with his beloved June. He was also instrumental in planning class reunions for the Class of 1942. He was an avid fan of the Michigan Wolverines and Green Bay Packers.
He was a life member of the Escanaba Elks Lodge #354, member of the Eskymo Fan Club, lifetime member of the Eskymo Quarterback Club, and a longtime member of the Escanaba Country Club where he and Don Goulais were President’s Cup Champions in 1988.
Bill is survived by daughter, Barbara (Robert) Law of St. Germain, WI; three sons, Brent (Kathryn) Baum of Peshtigo, WI, Bill (Jean) Baum of Midland, MI, Brian Baum of Escanaba; five grandchildren, Damon Anderson, Brooke (Baum) Kleis, Justin Baum, Sarah (Baum) Schachtner, Christopher Baum; ten great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren; sister Lucy Spriggs of Clearwater, FL; and special friend, Larry Stein of Escanaba.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Donald and Jack Baum; brother-in-law, Bob Ranguette; and grandson, Bradley Anderson.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba. Funeral services will follow at the funeral home at 6 p.m. A celebration of his life will follow services at the Escanaba Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Bill Baum can be directed to the Escanaba Country Club, the Escanaba Public Library, or to the charity of one’s choosing.
Burial will be at Lakeview Cemetery.
A message of condolence may be sent to the Baum family at email@example.com.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Baum family.