April 13, 2020 – Slinger, WI – Well–known teacher, Miriam (Golightly) Baumann, 93, entered eternal life on Easter morning. It was the completion of a journey with dementia but also the culmination of a life well-lived.
Miriam was born in the family home in Wilkes-Barre, PA. to Helen and Arthur Golightly. She loved school, worked hard, and graduated from G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) High School in 1945. Miriam received a full academic college scholarship, graduating from Bucknell University (later Wilkes College) in 1948. She did it in three years, while working part-time jobs as a newspaper reporter and a waitress!
After graduation, Miriam begins her first teaching job in New Jersey. She taught English and social studies at Boonton High School. Miriam was the faculty adviser to the school newspaper, which under her guidance won numerous awards for its reporting and innovative editorials.
Miriam and Herman Baumann Jr. were married on August 1, 1949. Theirs was a special marriage, filled with respect, support, and humor. On their first anniversary, they purchased their first home in Denville, New Jersey.
Several years later, their first child, Herman III, was born. Their second child, Heidi (Baumann-Schuppel), was a few years later. Miriam stayed home with her children until they began school. She then resumed her career at Boonton Township Elementary School. Miriam worked there until her husband’s job took them to the Midwest.
The family took up residence in Prospect Heights, IL. Miriam acquired an Illinois teaching license and taught 6th-grade social studies at MacArthur Junior High, for two years before moving “up north” to Wisconsin.
Miriam and Herman purchased a home in Cedar Lake Hills, in the Town of Polk. Miriam then began what was to be a very successful 21-year teaching career with the Slinger School District. She had a positive impact on many young lives.
Miriam’s first grandchild arrived in 1985, when Susan Adrianne was born. Sandra Allyson followed in 1987. She spent many fun-filled days with them; coloring Easter eggs, sewing, reading books, boating on the lake and traveling the world with them.
Miriam retired from teaching in 1989 and was given numerous awards and parties in recognition of her 31 years in the teaching profession.
Miriam spent retirement getting together with family and friends, actively participating in St. James Episcopal Church in West Bend, singing in the church choir, volunteering with Meals on Wheels, reading, attending book clubs, playing bridge, exercising, quilting, participating in Red Hat groups, and attending theater and music concerts.
She and her husband Herman traveled to every continent, except Antarctica. Their travels included 35 countries, the Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, Falkland Islands, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Istanbul.
Miriam attended both her grandchildren’s weddings (Susan married Brian Paul in 2009 and Sandra married Audie Ritschke in 2012) and also was present at Audrey and Audie’s baptisms in 2017.
Miriam’s husband died in 2011 but she continued to live in her house until 2016. She then moved to a wonderful apartment on the top floor of Cedar Ridge. In 2018, due to health concerns, she moved to the Cottages of Cedar Community.
Miriam is survived by her children: Herman Baumann III (Kay Schwichtenberg) of Madison, and Heidi Baumann-Schuppel (Robert Schuppel) of Slinger, grandchildren Susan Schuppel-Paul (Brian Paul) of Wauwatosa, and Sandra Ritschke (Audie Ritschke) of Wauwatosa. She is further survived by her great-granddaughter Audrey Ritschke.
Miriam was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Baumann Jr., parents Arthur and Helen Golightly; in-laws Herman Baumann Sr. and Anna Baumann and her brother Charles Golightly and his wife Mary.
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Miriam’s church service and reception will be held at a later time.
Interment will be at St. James’ columbarium.
The family suggests donations to: St. James Episcopal Church in West Bend, the Cottages in West Bend, or a charity of your choice.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the people who continued to visit Miriam and kept her in their thoughts and prayers. Thanks also to the caring, compassionate people at the Cottages, who became like family.