A Memorial Service for William “Butch” Baumgartner will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at 11:00AM at First United Lutheran Church in Roseau, MN. Visitation will be held on Friday, November 25, 2022 at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, MN from 5-7PM with a prayer service at 7PM. Interment will take place at a later date.
William “Bill” Baumgartner passed away peacefully in his home in the wee hours of November 17, 2022. He died much as he lived his life, on his own terms, with great faith, surrounded by his beloved family, and held dear by a loving community of extended family, close friends, and exceptional caregivers. He was 83.
“Butch” as he was affectionately known, was born in Roseau, Minnesota on July 31, 1939, the ninth of ten children, to parents William and Ella (Johnson) Baumgartner. He spent his childhood developing deep roots on the family farm north of Roseau and these roots instilled within him a strong work ethic and a lifelong love for the land. As he got older, he grew to be more and more a product of the land he loved so much. He had an incredible green thumb, and his innate patience and ability to cultivate and nurture his garden resulted in much bounty, particularly his amazing red potatoes, for which his grandchildren won many 4-H awards under his watchful “eye”!
In 1962, Butch was lucky enough to be set up on a blind date with the love of his life, Ina Lou Nelson. Butch traveled to meet Ina in Warroad, where she lived and worked as a bank teller. Butch and Ina married in a snowstorm on December 7, 1963, at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Strandquist, and despite the weather, together they “weathered” 58 wonderful, fulfilling, and dedicated years of marriage spent committed to each other, their faith, their family, and their community. Together they traveled widely in Canada and the US, visited with many friends, played many hands of cards, rolled much Lefsa, drank a lot of coffee, grew the best potatoes, canned food to feed the family, supported their community in a multitude of ways, and were a shining example of commitment, perseverance, and the best of what a marriage union can be.
Butch was a farmer at heart, but also had a long and successful career with Northwestern Bell, US West and Centurytel as a local Telephone Combination Technician. He had the privilege of literally connecting and being connected to the majority of Roseau County residents. He was loved and respected as highly competent, hardworking, and as an upstanding member of this community. His love of the land ran deep, and he loved to work the soil; farming, gardening, planting trees and even making daily trips to the farm just to “check on things” after moving to town last year. He spent endless hours working the land even after a long day of work for the phone company and it brought him great peace and contentment.
Butch was a committed member of the Lutheran Church, and he truly loved his church family at First United Lutheran Church in Roseau. His faith was demonstrated daily in how he loved others and was exemplified in the joy and kindness he showed to all those he met. He expressed his gratitude for life by sharing, and giving of himself (walleye, potatoes, his time and attention), and he embraced the idea that if he didn’t’ know you, you were simply a friend he hadn’t yet met. Butch could often be found at the Roseau Hockey Arena watching first his children and then his grandchildren play hockey, and he was a particularly dedicated visitor to the Roseau Dairy Queen, which was always his preferred destination for an evening drive after gazing out at the crops in the fields and the animals on the land.
Butch may have been best known for his passion and deep respect for fishing and hunting, a love which he imparted to his children and grandchildren. Everyone always wanted to know which color jig Butch was using, because it was guaranteed to catch the best fish (try chartreuse)! He spent many quiet and patient hours teaching his family to tie jigs, set the hook, wait for “just one more”, clean fish, or take quiet pleasure in the woods while waiting for deer, grouse, geese, and ducks. His patience was one of his defining features and it showed not just in fishing and hunting, but in the attention he paid to the little things in life; the interest he showed in his family and friends, and the words of guidance, support and prayer that he offered. Butch created many happy memories with family and friends in the woods and on Lake of the Woods at Buffalo Bay, Birch Point, and in his later years, at the Northwest Angle.
Butch was preceded in death by his parents (William and Ella) and siblings Ed, Clarice, Roy, Ray, Joanne, Jack and many sisters and brothers-in-law. Butch is survived by Ina, his beloved and cherished wife of 58 years, with whom he shared a marriage blessed with deep and abiding love, dedication, and humor. He will be profoundly missed by his devoted children; Bruce (Paula), Sandra (Troy) Weiland, Beth (David) Johnson and Scott (Bekkie Vineberg), for whom he was a role model of enduring faith, the love of family, the importance of community, and as a beacon of humility and gratitude.
He will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Trevor (Jackie) Baumgartner, Vanessa Weiland, Jenna Baumgartner, Andrew (McKenna) Weiland, Adam Weiland, Bella Johnson, Bjorn Johnson, and Willie Johnson, with whom he spent so much time and of whom he was so incredibly proud. Butch also took great pleasure in meeting his first great-granddaughter, Everleigh Weiland (Andrew and McKenna) and was so happy to be able to celebrate her first birthday, despite being in the hospital.
Butch is also survived by his loving sisters MaryAnn Johnson, Lois Hudson, and Diana Smith, and his sisters-in-law Audrey Baumgartner, Lila Grandstrand and Dorothy Borowicz and many extended family members.
Butch was a salt-of-the-earth good and kind man, and he will also be sadly missed by the many friends and extended family members with whom he cultivated special relationships over the rich years of his life. Every ice-cream cone, handful of buttery popcorn, fish reeled in, mischievous wink and goofy smile will forever remind us of Butch. May his memory be a blessing.
Last modified: 11/28/2022