Obituary for Irene Baumgartner
Irene Baumgartner, 104, of Kenosha, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at Brookside Care Center.
She was born in a farmhouse in Dwight, IL, on April 27, 1912, the daughter of the late Fred and Olga (Petersen) Seeman. While growing up, she loved to work in the fields with her father and was often seen riding on the back of his tractor. At harvest time, she would help husk the corn using a little tool that she kept all these years. When her family traveled to town, they did so in a horse-drawn buggy. Of course, there was no running water in the farmhouse so she and her sister had to take turns to see who would be first to use the tub. Her sister, Stella, died last year at the age of 101. Two sisters each living to be 100 years old is probably something for the record books. Maybe it was the bathwater they shared all those many years ago.
In her 20s, she moved to Chicago to find work. She met her future husband, Richard Baumgartner, while they both worked together at a dime store. They were married in 1936 and moved to Kenosha in 1955 when her husband began working as a parts manager for the local Kenosha Chevrolet Cadillac dealership. Somehow, they managed to send their daughter to college and their son to law school.
She loved to play bridge and was a 50-year member of the Kenosha Women's Club where she enjoyed many games with her friends. She loved dancing and in her 80s joined a square-dancing club which danced at many nursing homes around town. She was concerned about the people in nursing homes even though at the time she was older than many of the residents.
During her amazing lifetime, she saw a boom in technology from early Wright brothers’ airplanes to jets to rockets to space travel to satellites to fancy cars to televisions and, of course, to iPhones. She could never quite understand how a photo taken of her one minute could appear on her granddaughter's phone in Texas a few seconds later.
She would have been 105 on April 27th. She spent her last six years at Brookside care center which she loved and which took great care of her. Her outgoing personality, positive attitude and wonderful smile will be missed by her many friends and her large family.
Survivors include two children, JoAnn Anen and Ken Baumgartner, both of Kenosha; five granddaughters, Kelly, Kendra, Karla, Diana, and Rhonda; nine great-grandchildren, Cade, Beck, Grey, Kyle, Kayla, Brett, Kayla, Monica, and Faith; and four great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard on June 4, 1985; her sister, Stella Spandet; and her brother, Bud Seeman.
Irene’s family would like to thank Dr. Scott Feldy, Fran Petrick, and the nurses and staff of Brookside Care Center for all of the kind and compassionate care they gave her.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 27th, at Proko Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and will continue on Friday, April 28th, at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Mary’s Lutheran Church would be appreciated by the family.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
Visit & Sign Irene’s Online Memorial Book at: