Rev. Mr. Paul Eugene Baumgartner

Born: Wed., Feb. 8, 1928
Died: Thu., May 24, 2012


9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, Tue., May 29, 2012
Location: N. William St. Location

Funeral Mass

10:00 AM Tue., May 29, 2012
Location: Saint Joseph Catholic Church

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The Reverend Mr. Paul E. Baumgartner

Feb. 08, 1928 – May 24, 2012


Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God…Mathew 5:8


South Bend – The Reverend Mr. Paul Eugene Baumgartner, 84, of South Bend, IN passed away peacefully on Thursday May 24, 2012 at Saint Joseph Medical Center in Mishawaka. He was born in South Bend, IN February 08, 1928. He was son of the late William and Mary (Humphrey) Baumgartner of Rolling Prairie.  He is survived by his sisters Kathleen (Larry) Stafford and Suzanne Gadaz. He is preceded in death by his brother William Baumgartner, Jr.


Paul was married for 63 years to Donnabelle Jean on July 29, 1949, who survives him. They are the proud parents of 5 children,   16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Children include Sharon (Jim) Reimann, Linda Baumgartner, JoAnn Baumgartner, Judy Kuspa, and Paul T. (Tina) Baumgartner. 


Paul lived in the South Bend area all his life as an active member of this community. He graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1948 and while there, loved to run track with the team. He began his career at the age of 19 as a journeyman carpenter and quickly realized his passion was to create and improve the environment for his family as well as others. His passion for construction led him to forming his own business where he was willing and eager to help others who were interested in learning this trade. As well as construction, Paul was a skilled mason with one of his fondest memories of his work accomplishments being his contribution at the Notre Dame Grotto. As with most carpenters, work on his own home was always ongoing and never done, witnessed by the multiple additions to his home as his family grew.

To call him a religious man would be an understatement to his devotion and commitment to the Catholic Church. After being an active participant in the Cursillo movement, Paul was determined to help, council, and assist others thru his faith. This lead Paul to become ordained a permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on August 30, 1975. He was then assigned to St Augustine Parrish where he enjoyed a close and loving connection with fellow parishioners.


During the Lenten Season decades ago, he became involved with a small group of people who had made a commitment to attend Mass every day. This small group has grown significantly and this group continues meeting daily after Mass, enriching each other’s lives before continuing with their own daily lives. Paul was adamant about continuing with these daily Masses, feeling that his day was incomplete if he did not attend even when he was physically incapacitated. A true testament to the character of his friends was that they assisted him daily when he was no longer able to drive himself.



He and a close friend discovered the joys of the Divine Mercy during Holy Week which concluded with a Mass on Mercy Sunday. This led the involvement with all parishes in South Bend joining together and this practice continues today.


Paul was thrilled to make two pilgrimages to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia to experience the messages of Our Lady. He also travelled to Montreal to the Oratory of St. Joseph and witnessed a miracle. Paul also made several trips with the Bernie Barth retreat group.



He was known to his grandchildren as grandpa, but great grandchildren called him Bee Grandpa because of his many bee hives he maintained while being a member of the Michiana Bee Keepers Association. While he enjoyed the honey daily, Paul also enjoyed sharing his liquid gold with others. He enjoyed gardening as well, especially his fruit trees and grape vines which he used to make wines. He enjoyed spending time with the children and was skilled at teaching values to them without their knowledge. While he was a great storyteller, the stories that can be told about him are even greater. He had a sense of humor that could light up a room. The prankster in him was responsible for many practical jokes, all harmless in nature and never meant to be mean spirited. Family gatherings were always important to him and having everyone together for any reason gave him great joy. Gatherings at “the farm” were frequent where everyone could feel the love. The family tree still stands there which tells the story of his family.


Paul was an avid fisherman and hunter and loved to share his enthusiasm for these activities with his son and grandsons as well as many friends and relatives. He loved to stay active and insisted on doing so even after he lost his sight.


Viewing will be held at St Joseph Catholic Church, South Bend on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 between 9:00 and 10:00 AM with a Funeral Mass to follow at 10:00 AM.


Paul was a caring and grateful person. His family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. J. Bufill and Jen Ewing, NP as well as the staff at Michiana Hematology/Oncology for all of their care and compassion for the last 10 years. In lieu of flowers, they ask that you make a contribution to one of the following organizations: Cursillo, P.O. Box 1613, South Bend IN  46634 or St Augustine Church, P.O. Box 3198, South Bend, IN, 46619-0198, or RiverBend Cancer Services, 919 E Jefferson Blvd, Suite 401, South Bend, IN 46617


Welsheimer Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at




Charitable donations may be made in Rev. Mr. Paul's memory to the following organizations:

Cursillo, P.O. Box 1613
South Bend IN 46634

St Augustine Church
P.O. Box 3198, South Bend, IN, 46619-0198

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Mark Kerr
   Posted Sun May 27, 2012
Tommy & Family,

So sad to hear of your loss.
All the best.

Mark & Debra Kerr

Martin Lukaszewski
   Posted Sun May 27, 2012
Paul, may you rest in peace.

Sue Korlan
   Posted Sun May 27, 2012
I am very sorry that Paul has left us. His wisdom and ability to get a point across always left me amazed and grateful. The last time we talked he told me that I was heading in the right direction spiritually, and I will be forever grateful for his words. I know you must be heart broken. May Jesus comfort you in your sorrow and let you know how much He cares for you and for Paul. God bless you in every way.

Phillip Greene
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
It has been a long time since I have seen Father Paul but my dad Larry Roumell, knew him well. My step brother and I went on a trip with him and others to Vail Colorado and had a great time, he always made us feel welcome. I remember when he went skiing into a huge tree and got buried in the snow and when we got over there he came out laughing which was very infectious.
God Bless and the world was a better place with him in it

Bob Zientarski
   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
I knew Paul from the Barth-Hamilton retreats. My father Ray Zientarski was also an ordained deacon and I would go with him on theses retreats. My first retreat was some 37 yrs. ago and I remember Paul making me feel real welcomed as I was the youngest retreatant at the time. Paul's love, laughter, acceptance, and humility really touched me and I always looked forward to seeing him on subsequent retreats. Please accept my sincere condolences as I know he will really be missed.

   Posted Mon May 28, 2012
Dear Donna,
It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I write you on the occasion of Paul''''s passing. I am sad for you and for all of us who loved Paul and will miss him greatly. But I am joyfull in knowing he is free of pain and in Paradise with the Jesus he loved so much.
I am also sorry that I can''''t visit you in person to convey this message since I am stuck in Florida for another few weeks. I am here with Al Kveton, who has also come to know and love Paul during the past 2 years as a result of periodically joining us for 7 am mass at St. Joseph.. When we learned of his death, we offered our daily mass followed by a group rosary for him.

Paul has had a big and positive influence on me through our years in the Cursillo movement. I have such great memories of our times on teams together. He has been and will continue to be one of my heroes.

Jan and I will continue to pray for him, you and your family as you suffer through this difficult, painful and lonely time.
With much love,
Pat and Jan Thesier

Patrick Shanley
   Posted Tue May 29, 2012
For Your Loss,
I am saddened to hear of Deacon Pauls' passing. I pray for peace and comfort for you Donna and your entire family through this difficult time.
He was such a wonderful man and gentle spirit with a great spiritual insight. He affected all who knew him and we will all miss him. He touched my life deeply through Cursillo, you both have.
Prayers for your healing and blessings that Jesus will continue to hold Paul and you close to His Sacred Heart.


Patrick Shanley

mary sparks
   Posted Sat June 02, 2012
we send our sympathy on to the family . will keep you in our prayers. mary t. sparks & elmer j. danch