August 22, 1952 - January 9, 2021
William Joseph Bauman, Jr. (Bill) was born in Downey, CA, on August 22, 1952, and died on January 9, 2021. He was the son of William Joseph Bauman, Sr. and Nell Ananioni Kadunc Bauman, both of whom are deceased. He is survived by his wife Orlean Grizzard Bauman; his daughter Jessica Kathleen Bauman Wheeler and her husband John; two grandchildren, Kailea Pearl Wheeler and Lani Ruth Wheeler; and one sister, Kathleen Bauman Wickham. Bill Bauman will be remembered as a man with a big heart and a big personality to go with it. He grew up in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, and that diverse society shaped his tolerance and acceptance of all kinds of people. He loved people and never met a stranger. Bill was one of the “helpers” that Mr. Rogers spoke of. If a person or an animal was in need, you could count on Bill to do his best, whether by helping search for a missing child or crawling under a building to rescue a stranded puppy. Bill never finished college, but he had an insatiable curiosity and was truly a life-long learner. He was happiest being self-employed and was a whiz at anything electronic or technical. He loved troubleshooting and solving complex problems. If others had given up on a situation, Bill used his natural curiosity to find an answer. His customers often became his friends because he genuinely cared about them and got his greatest satisfaction from knowing they were happy with his work. Bill’s love for water was deep and lasting. After moving from Hawaii to Tennessee to marry me, he had to adjust to living in a landlocked state. His solution was to buy a ski boat and fall in love with Cuba Landing and the Tennessee River. In addition, we discovered a little bit of paradise at Cape San Blas, Florida, where we spent all the summers of Jessica’s childhood. For a few years in the early 2000s we had a house on Fort Morgan in Alabama which allowed Bill to reconnect with living at the beach. He planted oleanders and bougainvillea and rescued straggly roses from Lowes to create a small garden so lovely that people would stop and stare and sometimes help themselves to a few roses. Bill might watch from the house just to see them fall in love with the flowers. The porch at the Ft. Morgan house sat only a few feet from Bon Secour Bay, and Bill would spend time just looking at the water and the herons and dolphins that frequently visited at sunrise and sunset. He often told me that those quiet times with the water were deeply spiritual and connected him with God. When Bill and I were blessed with our daughter Jessica, I have never seen a happier man. He told me that the most wonderful part of his life was raising Jessica and seeing her mature into a beautiful and loving wife to our son-in-law John and mother to their two precious children, Kailea Pearl and Lani Ruth. His only regret about leaving this world behind was not having any more time to be with his family. He loved being “Baba.” He loved his life, not because it was rich in material possessions or power, but because it was rich in the things that really matter – the love of family and friends, a home that he lovingly worked on for over three decades, and a connection with the natural world expressed in his love of the creek, the woods, and all creatures great and small. He tenderly and patiently cared for any animal that came into his world, wild or tame. We joked that there must have been a neon sign over our house that said “Suckers for animals” because over the years, dozens of cats and dogs “found” us and were taken in. Bill loved them all, and they loved him back. One of the things I loved most about Bill was his zest for life and his child-like enthusiasm and eagerness to learn new things. Our son-in-law John taught Bill to snowboard when Bill was 60, and one of his proudest moments was when John gave him his very own Burton board and boots. Kailea, who is not quite 3, is learning to snowboard this winter, and Bill said he would have given anything to have had the time to be with her as she learned. He loved music and was a self-taught guitar player. He assembled himself a small “sound studio” and I would often come home to find him recording himself playing his guitar and singing. The Hawaiian slack-key guitar style was one that he loved, and our house was often filled with the beautiful music of his childhood in the islands. I will see Bill each time I walk in our yard and remember all the hard work he put into making it beautiful. I will remember him each time I wade our creek or build a fire in our fire pit because those were the simple things that gave him pleasure. I thank God for the 36 years we had together and will miss him every day. I hope that if you knew and loved Bill, you will share your memories with us. Jessica and I hope to compile them so that Kailea and Lani will have a way to know their “Baba” better. Bill asked us to take his ashes back to Hawaii and scatter them in Kaneohe Bay where the ashes of his parents were placed. Out of concern for the safety of others, we are not having a service for Bill. In late spring or early summer Jessica and I will host a yard party at our farm on Beaver Creek. We know that Bill would approve of a gathering that includes food, music and fun. We will let you know details as they are decided. If you wish to honor Bill’s memory in some way, we are requesting that you support Walden’s Puddle, a wildlife rehab center in Joelton, TN, (Go to waldenspuddle.org for details); Hickman Humane Society (Go to hickmanhumanesociety.tripod.com for details), or Shelter Friends of Hickman County (Information at the Shelter Friends Facebook page).
William Joseph Bauman, Jr. (Bill) was born in Downey, CA, on August 22, 1952, and died on January 9, 2021. He was the son of William Joseph Bauman, Sr. and Nell Ananioni Kadunc Bauman, both of whom are deceased. He is survived by his wife Orlean... View Obituary & Service Information
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