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Paul C. Baumgarten April 18, 1946 - Feb. 8, 2009

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Paul Charles Baumgarten 62, of Willmar, died unexpectedly Sunday at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The service will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Tomah, Wis.

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Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Harvey Anderson Funeral in Willmar and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.

He was born April 18, 1946, in Tomah, Wis., to Lyle and Margaret (Fenske) Baumgarten. He grew up in Tomah, attending St. Mary's Elementary School and graduating from Tomah High School in 1964.

He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor's degree. He taught in Suring and New London, Wis., and moved to Willmar in 1973, where he taught junior high band.

He married Julaine "Jo" Meyer on July 5, 1975, in Willmar. They lived in Willmar where he continued teaching junior high band, jazz ensemble, jazz combo and the junior and senior high school marching bands.

From 1979 to 1981, he also served as the Minnesota State FFA Band Director. He served as a judge and clinician for the Minnesota State High School League for 30 years and occasionally worked with bands at junior high band festivals throughout southwestern Minnesota. In 2002, he received the Outstanding Music Educator award from the Minnesota Music Educators Association. In June 2005, after serving as a public school band director for 37 years, he retired from teaching, but drove bus for Willmar Bus Service until his death.

In 2003 and 2006, he was selected as the featured soloist with the Heritage Fest Tuba Choir for New Ulm's Heritage Festival. He also played in many weekend dance bands, polka bands and Dixieland bands and directed the Prairie Winds Summer Pop Band for more than 20 years. He also was a president of the West Central Concert Series.

He is survived by his wife; children: Amy Jo (and Ryan Strouth) Baumgarten of Apple Valley and Ross Baumgarten of St. Paul; siblings: Jack Baumgarten, Doris (and Oris) Hall, Dick (and Sandy) Baumgarten, Bert (and Cheryl) Baumgarten, and Tom (and Lynn) Baumgarten, all of Tomah, Wis., and Bill (and Tereza) Baumgarten of St. Paul.

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