Obituary Record

Eugene Henry "Gene" "Mr. B" Baumert
Died on 3/17/2006
Buried in Blair Cemetery

#1 Pilot Tribune 21 March 2006

(Photo) (Veteran Flag)

Eugene H. Baumert, 79

Eugene H. “Gene” Baumert, (“Mr. B”) 79, of Blair died Friday March 17, 2006, at Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at First United Methodist Church in Blair. Interment will be in the Blair Cemetery.

Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 21 at Campbell-Aman Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m.

Eugene Henry Baumert was born July 19, 1926, in Stanton to Henry and Lou (Hollstein) Baumert. He played football, basketball and American Legion baseball during his youth and high school years and graduated from Stanton High School in 1944.

He joined the United States Army on Sept. 28, 1944, and obtained the rank of staff sergeant while stationed in Hawaii.

He attended Wayne State Teachers College, where he played basketball for four years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education in May 1950. After graduating, he taught and coached at Tilden from 1950 to 1956, and played town team baseball. While in Tilden, Tilden native and Baseball Hall of Fame member Richie Ashburn (of the Philadelphia Phillies) assisted Mr. Baumert in coaching in his off-season and they also enjoyed refereeing basketball together.

On June 9, 1951, he married Betty Koepke at the Pilger Methodist Church. He joined the Methodist Church in Tilden in November 1953.

On Aug. 5, 1956, the family moved to Blair. A year later, Mr. Baumert received his Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After two years as a teacher and a coach, he became the assistant principal at the Blair Junior/Senior High School. He retired in June 1988 with 38 years in education. The spring of his retirement, he was honored with membership in the National Honor Society of Secondary Schools. On June 9, 2001, the day of his 50th wedding anniversary, he received the Blair Community Schools Foundation “Distinguished Service Award.

He was a life member of the American Legion, where he held posts such as commander, vice-commander, adjutant and chaplain. He was a member of the NSEA and the NEA and served the community as a Scoutmaster.

He enjoyed sports and was a true Yankee fan. He looked forward to his yearly fishing trips to Minnesota and Canada with his sons and friends.

He loved being around people and touched many lives. He couldn’t go anywhere without seeing people who knew him and was remembered by his students for his “finger thumping”. Students said they thought he had a “lead finger.”

For such a successful and accomplished man, he is remembered as a person who showed remarkable humility and generosity. He was embarrassed by being put in the spotlight. In his quiet and teasing character, he made a difference in the lives of many people but never wanted or needed attention or credit. He was a loving family man and a dear friend to all. His family notes he was like a ray of sunshine, a kind and gentle soul.

#2 Enterprise 24 March 2006 (Photo) By Jim Brazda Reporter

Even though Blair lost an educational icon last week, the member of Gene Baumert and his “lead finger” will live on for many years in the hearts of those he touched as the assistant principal at the junior/senior high school from 1956 to 1988.

Baumert died at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha Friday, March 17.

As a high school administrator, Baumert had the opportunity to touch many lives. Even though his career with the Blair School District ended when he retired in 1988, the memory of his prudent counsel and no-nonsense discipline have remained in the hearts of those he taught and worked with.

Baumert was easy to talk to, said former student Dick Harris. If a kid had a problem, he was always available and would keep it confidential, he said.

“You could always go to him for help,” Harris said.

Baumert was good at dealing with children, said long-time co-worker Roger Petersen. He enjoyed their successes, and followed the careers of many students, even after he retired.

He would always garner a laugh, or at least a confused look, when a student came up to him to ask a question and he responded, “What the who?” said former teacher, Ray Ruzicka.

He also helped many students get through school, Harris said. He nurtured students who were thinking about dropping out and helped them through to graduation.

But Baumert was perhaps most famous for his discipline, and his “lead finger”.

“I was probably the one who started that rumor,” Ruzicka said.

It happened after a student commented to him that “Mr. B. sure has a hard finger.”

“I told him that he lost his finger in the service and replaced it with a lead one.”

Such are legends born.

Even though he was known widely for roaming the halls, thumping troublemakers in the crown, his brand of discipline was evenhanded.

“He did it in such a way that kids knew he was upset and they knew they had to change their ways,” Petersen said.

When Baumert would poke his head into a window and see a commotion, all he would have to do was give a look through the glass, and everyone would quiet down, Harris said.

“He got a lot of respect,” Harris said. “He was a great guy.”

Sometimes he would even sneak up on misbehaving students to give them a tap, he said. His constant vigilance kept everyone in line.

However it did not matter what trouble a student had caused the day before, Baumert never held a grudge, and very few of them resented his discipline. Petersen said.

But his thumping is probably something that will be remembered for decades, Petersen added.

“He was a really good person,” Petersen said. “He enjoyed life and people, and that carried over to his teaching, administrative career and family. He always had a smile on his face and a sense of humor. He was a good husband, good father and a really good grandfather.”

Baumert was born July 19, 1926, in Stanton. In his youth he played basketball, football and American Legion baseball before graduating from Stanton High School in 1944. Shortly after, he joined the U.S. Army where he obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant while stationed in Hawaii.

After the war, he attended Wayne State Teachers College, where he played basketball for four years, graduating in 1950. After a six-year teaching stint in Tilden, he and his family moved to Blair where he became the assistant principal at the junior/senior high school.

#3 Omaha World Herald 21 March 2006

(Photo) (Veteran Flag)

Baumert – Eugene “Gene” Henry, age 79, of Blair. Passed away on Friday March 17, 2006. Survived by wife, Betty and their 3 children. Son and daughter-in-law, Kim and Barbara Baumert of Elkhorn, daughter, Kristy Hansen of Millard and son, Kip Baumert of Waterloo; 4 granddaughters, Kaylee Hansen, Jamie Baumert, Kellie Baumert, Maggie Baumert and one grandson, Garrett Hansen; brother, Jack and Phyllis Baumert of Elkhorn; two sisters-in-law, Doris Koepke of Wisner, Berneta Schaffer of Redford Twp., MI; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and two aunts, Betty Baumert of Boulder, CO and Ann Baumert of Howells. Preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Lou Hollstein Baumert.

Services will be held 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church 1656 Colfax St., Blair, NE. Visitation starting 9:00 a.m. Tuesday with the family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m. Burial at Blair Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made to Blair Community School Foundation, veterans Memorial Plaza or First United Methodist Church.

Campbell-Aman Funeral Home, Blair, NE 402-426-2191

#4 Funeral Leaflet

In Loving Memory of “Mr. B” Eugene “Gene” Henry Baumert

Born July 19, 1926 Stanton, Nebraska ~ Entered Into Rest March 17, 2006 Omaha, Nebraska

Funeral Services 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, March 22, 2006 First United Methodist Church, Blair, Nebraska. Officiating: Rev. Denny Silk, Rev. A.K. Saul. Organist: Marilyn Urwin. Vocalist: David Carlsen.

Casket Bearers: Garrett Hansen, Gerald Gunderson, Pete Kropp, Mason Moritz, Tom Baumert, John Little, Tom Nielsen

Honorary Casket Bearers:

Blair Jr.-Sr. High School Personnel 1956-1988

The Burger King Coffee Crew – Wayne Armer, Willard Best, Richard Goodwin, Marlin Taylor, Wilson Bryant, Roger Petersen, Jim Waring, Patrick Connery, Jerry Sinclair, Bob Macholan

Military Graveside Services: Blair Cemetery, Blair, Nebraska

~~~ Obituaries and funeral leaflet courtesy of Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings and leaflets on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska~~~

FindaGrave #: 113533948

Printed in the Washington County Pilot-Tribune on 3/21/2006