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1929 Paul 2021

Paul Baumgartner

February 21, 1929 — January 13, 2021

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Dr. Helen Marie Bilhorn Baumgartner (1932–2020), Dr. Paul Lloyd Baumgartner (1929-2021), St. Peter, MN

Paul Lloyd Baumgartner, son of Grover and Rose (Fankhauser) Baumgartner, was born on February 21, 1929, in Berne, IN. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Heidelberg University (Tiffin, OH); after beginning graduate study at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), he served in Korea as a chaplain’s assistant, returning to Eastman after discharge. 

Helen Marie Bilhorn was born on October 6, 1932, in Rochester, NY. Daughter of Clarence and Grace (Etter) Bilhorn, she attended the Columbia School and the Eastman Preparatory School of Music, where she studied piano and violin and soloed with the Rochester Philharmonic. At Smith College, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree, winning a competition to play with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fielder. 

Helen and Paul were introduced by their piano teacher at the Eastman School of Music in 1954 and married on January 30, 1955; upon graduation they moved to Sendai, Japan, to serve as short-term missionary teachers at Miyagi College for Women. In 1958 they began doctoral programs in piano performance at Indiana University; Paul received his degree at the University of Arizona in 1974, and Helen finished hers at the University of Minnesota in 1991 After teaching at the University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point) and Chowan College (Murfreesboro, NC), Paul accepted a faculty position at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) in 1964, where he taught until 1991. Helen taught at Gustavus from 1966-2004. In 1978-1979 they lived in Osaka, Japan; he was an exchange professor from Gustavus to Kansai Gaidai, and she taught at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto. They were also a four-hand piano duet team throughout the country and around the world, playing many benefit recitals for the Global Mission Institute (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN). Helen was also a Girl Scout leader, a 50-year member of the League of Women Voters, and a violinist in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. 

Helen died on June 13, 2020, and Paul died on January 13, 2021; they are survived by children: Rev. Dr. Mary Lou Baumgartner (New Windsor, NY), Pr. Carol Baumgartner (Pr. Michael Mueller) (Janesville WI), Dorothy Baumgartner (Pr. Mikkel Hustad) (Clinton WA), John Baumgartner (Peter Kleinlein) (NYC), Tom Baumgartner (St. Peter); grandchildren Irene Mineoi (Rachid Amrani), Yuki Mineoi, Maya Mineoi, Peter Mueller (Jackie), Lukas Mueller (Ronan Rogers), Rachel Mueller, Kari Hustad and Annika Hustad; great-grandchildren Iman and Youssef Amrani; and Helen’s brother Dr. David Bilhorn (Portland OR).

An Open House celebrating the lives of Helen and Paul will be held on April 22, 4-7 p.m. in the Banquet Rooms at the Student Union, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter. 

A joint Memorial Service will be held on April 23 at First Lutheran Church. Masks are recommended. At 11:00 a.m., recordings of Baumgartner recitals will be played; the service begins at 11:30 a.m., with visiting afterwards. To livestream, follow these links: for the recordings (11:00-11:30a.m.): http://www.flcstp.org/worship-in-person--online.html; for the service (11:30 a.m.): https://www.facebook.com/FLCSTP/videos/169170241957351.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to First Lutheran Church, Gustavus Adolphus College, the Global Mission Institute of Luther Seminary, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or the League of Women Voters. On the weekend of June 23-25, 2023, a Memorial Concert will be held at Gustavus Adophus College as a fundraiser for the Helen and Paul Baumgartner Piano Scholarship Fund at GAC. 

 

 

(original obituary text)

Paul Lloyd Baumgartner was born on February 21, 1929 in Berne, IN, the youngest child of Grover and Rose (Fankhauser) Baumgartner. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Heidelberg University (Tiffin, OH) and was doing graduate study at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) when Uncle Sam called him to serve in Korea as a chaplain’s assistant. He resumed studies at Eastman where he met Helen Bilhorn; they were married on January 30, 1955. 

Upon graduation, they were appointed as short-term missionary teachers at Miyagi College for Women (Sendai, Japan). In 1958 they started work toward doctoral degrees in piano performance at Indiana University; he finished his at the University of Arizona in 1974. After teaching at the University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point) and Chowan College (Murfreesboro, NC), Paul accepted a faculty position at Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) in 1964, where he taught until 1991. For several decades the Baumgartners concertized together as a four-hand piano duet team throughout the country and around the world. They played many benefit recitals for the Global Mission Institute (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN), where graduate students from overseas train for service in their home countries.

Paul died on January 13, 2021, seven months after his beloved Helen. They are survived by children: Pr. Mary Lou Baumgartner (New Windsor, NY), Pr. Carol Baumgartner (Pr. Michael Mueller) (Janesville WI), Dorothy Baumgartner (Pr. Mikkel Hustad) (Clinton WA), John Baumgartner (Peter Kleinlein) (NYC), Tom Baumgartner (St. Peter); grandchildren Irene Mineoi (Rachid Amrani), Yuki Mineoi, Maya Mineoi, Peter Mueller (fiancée Jackie Maier), Emma Mueller (Ronan Rogers), Rachel Mueller, Kari Hustad and Annika Hustad; great-grandchildren Iman and Youssef Amrani; and brother-in-law David Bilhorn (Portland OR).

In-person services will be scheduled at First Lutheran Church St. Peter at a later date, with burial at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials suggested to First Lutheran Church or Gustavus Adolphus College.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Baumgartner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, April 22, 2022

4:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

Banquet Rooms at the Student Union, Gustavus Adolphus College

800 W College Ave, Saint Peter, MN 56082

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 23, 2022

11:00 - 11:30am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Starts at 11:30am (Central time)

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