Obituary of William J. Baum
William J. "Bill" Baum, 77, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at his home on October 7, 2023, surrounded by his family. Bill was a loving father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend whose gentle soul touched many.
To honor Bill's life, family and friends may visit from 3:30 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville, Iowa. A Vigil Service will commence at 7 p.m.
The funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville, Iowa. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Francis Cemetery.
Bill was born on November 3, 1945, in Monticello, Iowa, the son of Jerome and Velma (Arduser) Baum. One of four boys, Bill grew up in a loving and energetic home. While growing up in Dyersville, he loved to play baseball, enjoyed his time working at the Dyersville Commercial Newspaper, and his father's ice cream company, Tegeler-Baum Ice Cream Co. He graduated from Xavier High School, class of 1963, and earned a Bachelor's Degree from The University of Iowa in 1967. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served honorably from 1967 to 1971, aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Bill was married to Kathleen Mormann from 1968 to 1992, and they were blessed with two children, Natalie and Aaron. He was married to Barbara Giunta from 1996 to 2019.
Upon discharge from the Navy, Bill returned home to Dyersville. Little did he know that being hired as the Dyersville City Manager in 1971 would be the beginning of a 50+ year career impacting countless businesses, government agencies, and communities throughout the Dyersville and Dubuque areas. In 1975, Bill moved to Dubuque, where he joined the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA), later becoming the Executive Director.
He was hired in 2001 by the City of Dubuque as its Economic Development Director. Upon his retirement in 2005, he went on to work part-time for the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, recently retiring again this summer.
Throughout his career and life, Bill was a thoughtful leader who always sought to listen first, seek understanding, and work diligently to find mutually beneficial solutions. His dedication has made Dubuque and the surrounding counties a better community for its residents and businesses.
Bill was an avid reader of history, enjoyed music, and was an accomplished bridge and chess player. His real passion in life was his family, as nothing meant more to him than spending time with them. He cherished creating memorable moments with each of his children and grandchildren. He was such a proud "G-pa." He lived his days to the fullest, treating everyone he met with kindness and respect.
Those left to cherish Bill's memory include his children: Natalie (Scott) Schramm and Aaron (JoAnna) Baum; his grandchildren: Bobby (Katie) Schramm, KT Schramm, Nathan Schramm, Lucas Schramm, Penelope Baum, and Zoey Baum; his brothers: Jay (Kathy) Baum and Loras (Betty) Baum; numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. He was blessed in his final years to be with his loving and devoted fiancé, Mayra Rafferty.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Donald Baum.
The family thanks the physicians, nurses, and staff at Rush University Medical Center, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Northwestern Medicine, Medical Associates and Hospice of Dubuque. Those who wish who make a donation in his honor, please consider the Glioblastoma Foundation or Hospice of Dubuque.
Kramer Funeral Home in Dyersville is assisting the family and information is available at www.kramerfuneral.com. Memorials may be sent to the family, (in care of Kramer Funeral Home) 750 12th Ave SW, Dyersville, IA 52040.
In Loving Memory
1945 - 2023
Who We Are:
For five generations Kramer Funeral Home has had the privilege of serving Dyersville, Monticello, Holy Cross and the surrounding area with dedication and compassion. With more than 135 years of experience, we can use our extensive knowledge of the field of funeral service to provide quality support and guidance.
Kramer Funeral Home Dyersville
750 12th Ave SW.
Dyersville, IA 52040
(563) 875-7121 FAX (563) 875-7019
Kramer Funeral Home Monticello
700 Oak Street
Monticello, IA 52310
Kramer Funeral Home Holy Cross
5754 Maple Rd.
Holy Cross, IA 52052