Edward (Ed) Julius Baumgarten, 90, passed away April 27, 2016, at the Retreat at Sunbrook, Assisted Living Facility, St. George, Utah.
Ed was born in Oakland, California, on February 16, 1926. He was the second of four sons born to Shirley Nielene Rose Mortenson and Leon Otto Baumgarten. When he was a junior in high school he received his draft notice and was sent by bus to an induction center. His parents expected him to be back by supper because he had suffered from asthma since childhood. But no one asked about asthma and he didn’t tell.
When basic training was over, he volunteered for rigorous paratroop training. At the end of the first stage of training all the men who came with him from basic training had quit except one. Ed was assigned to the 511th regiment of the Eleventh Airborne Division.
Ed saw combat in the Philippines and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action on Luzon. His division was scheduled to make the first parachute landing on Japan, but because atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those orders were never issued.
Following his honorable release from the Army, Ed returned home to receive his High School degree, serve an LDS mission in the Western States Mission, and attend Brigham Young University. At BYU he sang in the traveling Delta Phi choir, majored in marketing and met the love of his life.
Ed married LaRue Nielson on May 29, 1952, in the Manti, Utah, Temple. The next week they both graduated from BYU and then headed south to Arizona where they would live for the next 32 years. Ed worked for Sears in Mesa, Arizona, and managed stores in Chandler and Douglas, Arizona.
Six children are privileged to call Ed and LaRue mom and dad: Patricia Ann Johnson (Auburn, California), Susan LaRue Wagner (Modesto, California), Julie McGary (St. George), Nancy May (Phoenix, Arizona), Daniel Edward Baumgarten (Littleton, California) and Victor Adin Baumgarten (St. George). Twenty-six grandchildren and thirty-six great-grandchildren (and more on the way!) are included in the family Ed and LaRue treasured above all else.
In 1985, after retiring from Sears, the couple moved to St. George, Utah, and settled in Bloomington Hills. Ed sold real estate, organized Sunland Investments, served on the board of directors and as president of Dixie Escalante Rural Electric Association. In 1995 Ed and LaRue accepted a call to serve in the Florida, Tallahassee Mission.
Ed found joy in serving other people. He was instrumental in getting the Veteran’s Nursing Home located in Ivins, Utah, and he served as an ordinance worker in the St. George Temple. His leadership roles in the LDS church impacted countless lives for good.
One word that summarizes Ed is love. Love of his God, his country, his sweetheart, his family, his ward members, his neighbors, his fellow human beings and love of life! And in return, he is dearly loved by all who knew him.
- A celebration of his remarkable life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Bloomington Hills 3rd Ward Chapel, 1222 E. Brigham Rd, St. George, Utah.
- A visitation will be held Saturday prior to service from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the chapel.
- Interment will be at the Toniquint Cemetery.
To honor Ed, donations may be made in his name to the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation. Checks can be mailed to 7008 Little River Turnpike, PO Box 49, Annandale, VA, 22003. Credit card payment can be made at www.purpleheartfoundation.org/donate.
The family thanks Ed’s medical providers and the staff at the Retreat for their professional and loving care.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.