SOUTH THOMASTON – Verna W. Baum, 82, died Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS). Born in Rockland, Aug. 12, 1931, she was the daughter of Harold H. and Mildred Sylvester Waldron.
Educated in local schools, she was a 1949 graduate of Rockland High School. On January 2, 1949, she married Joseph T. Baum, Jr. at Rockland. The couple made their home in Spruce Head a brief time before moving to South Thomaston, where they resided in an apartment over the family’s store, F. J. Baum at the Keag. From 1951 to 1960, Verna assisted her husband in the operation of that store. She served more than 18 years as Town Clerk of South Thomaston. She worked several years as a switchboard operator at the former Knox General Hospital in Rockland. Upon completion of Penobscot Bay Medical Center, she was employed as Supervisor of Medical Records. During this same period, she assisted her husband in the operation of Pepper Hill Farms and Baum Cement Products in South Thomaston.
Since retiring, Verna enjoyed “traveling anywhere and everywhere with ‘Bud'”. They visited all the U.S. states, including Hawaii and four trips to Alaska; all the Canadian Territories and Northwest Territory. For their 60th anniversary and Bud’s birthday, the entire immediate Baum family took a cruise to the Panama Canal. More recently, they visited Rothenberg, Germany, RAF Alcunbury, UK and Dalbeattie, Scotland, where the Baum family originated. Beginning in the late 1960s, the Baum’s enjoyed seasonal trips, hunting and snowmobiling at their TWP 22 camp Downeast. They later lived 13 winters at their Camp on Duck Lake, in TWP 28, where the only access was by snowmobile. They later spent six winters in Juniper, New Brunswick, where they enjoyed snowmobiling and the comradery of many friends. After suffering a stroke in 2000, seeking a warmer climate, Verna and Bud spent the past 10 years wintering on the Rio Grande River in Mission, Texas. An avid reader, she also enjoyed knitting, sewing, cross stitching, and to quote Verna, “loved doing just about anything but housework.” She particularly loved her family and enjoyed being involved in and keeping track of their ‘comings and goings’.
Other than her parents, Verna was predeceased by four siblings, Richard Waldron, Nathalie Stimpson, Robert Waldron and Kathryn Waldron; two nephews, William Waldron and Harold Kinney. She is survived by her beloved husband of 65 years, ‘Bud’ of South Thomaston, two daughters, Brenda B. Calderwood, Marcia B. Whitten, both of South Thomaston; one son, Joseph T. Baum, III and his wife, Lynda; one sister, Louise W. Kinney, all of Spruce Head; eight grandchildren, Robert Calderwood and his wife, Michelle, Stephen Calderwood and his wife, Lt. Colonel, LeaAnn Calderwood, USAF, Timothy Calderwood and his wife, Heather, Bryan Calderwood and his wife, Tammy, Lisa Brooks and her husband, Glenn, Michael Whitten and his partner, Jen Porter, Keely Baum and her partner, Travis Widdecombe, Joseph ‘Tucker’ Baum, IV and his fiancée, Jessica Sleeper; ten great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews, Richard Waldron, Frederick Stimpson, Arnold ‘Buzzy’ Kinney, Sumner Kinney, Karen Thompson, Dale ‘Chipper’ Roberson, Bonnie Riddle, Pamela Boland and Glen Smith; as well as many extended family.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, at Peoples United Methodist Church, Chapel Street, South Thomaston. The Reverend Michelle Wiley will officiate. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Private interment will be in the Village Cemetery, South Thomaston. As Verna loved flowers, flowers are welcome. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Peoples United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 83, South Thomaston, ME 04858, or Pope Memorial Humane Society, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841. To share a memory or story with Verna’s family, please visit her Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.