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Obituary-Jesse Willard Baumgardner,NC/FL
Posted by: Phill Baumgardner Date: July 24, 2001 at 08:28:22
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Jesse Willard Baumgardner of Fruitland Park, FL, passed away July 7, 2001. Born in Rutherford County (Forest City/Black Mountain), NC, November 30, 1915, he was the yougest child of Samuel Thomas Bumgarner and Maggie Eldora Hicks. He moved (with his family) to Cassia, Lake County, FL, in 1920; and attended public schools in Lake County, FL, graduating from Eustis High School. He was a 1940 graduate of Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL, with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education, and taught math and science in Jacksonville, Duval County, FL, public schools, 1941-42 and 1946-50. He was a Couselor and a District Director for the State of Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation from 1954 until his retirement in 1972, when he relocated to Paisley, Lake County, FL (one mile from his boyhood home). He served in the U.S. Naval (Air) Reserve as a Navigator (assigned to VPB-19, VP-741, VR-743, and Wing Staff) for 24 years, retiring in 1966 at the rank of Captain. He is a recipient of the Navy Air Medal for 50 flights over enemy islands in the South Pacific Theater. He was a member of Umatilla (FL) Lodge No. 65, F.& A.M., having been raised in Ionic Lodge No. 101, Jacksonville, FL, in 1951; and was recently presented with his 50-year Masonic pin. He served as Worshipful Master of Umatilla Lodge in 1979, Deputy District Grand Master in 1988, and served as Lodge Secretary for 8 years. He was a perpetual member of Umatilla Lodge and 32nd degree KCCH Scottish Rite and Shrine in Orlando, FL. He served as District Deputy High Priest, and District Deputy of Council of Select Masters; and had served as Deputy Prior in KYCH. He lived in Jacksonville, FL, 1940-1961; Panama City, FL, 1961-1965; North Palm Beach, FL, 1965-1972; Paisley, FL, 1972-1993; and Fruitland Park, FL, since 1993. He was an active member of a United Methodist Church wherever he lived. He was predeceased by his (first) wife of 54 years, maiden name Susan Genevieve Cheatham, in 1993. He is survived by his (second) wife, maiden name Ina J. Harry; two sons, Phillip Fred Baumgardner (Donna), Jacksonville, FL; and David Lee Baumgardner (Ellen), Ft. Pierce, FL; and two step-daughters, Sandra F. Averitt (Kenneth); and Ava F. McCarthy (Jim), Ipswich, MA; 5 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and 5 step-great-grandchildren. Mr. Baumgardner was buried at the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL (Section 411, Grave #1254).

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