James Daniel Baumgardner was born on September 30, 1924, the middle child of five children born to William Charley and Stella (Lyle) Baumgardner. J. D. passed away on Feb. 14, 2021, just in time to join Iris, his wife of 75 years, in heaven for Valentine’s Day.
J. D. was born in Parsons, Kansas, and graduated from Parsons High School in 1942. When he turned 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II as a radarman on the aircraft escort carrier U.S.S. Natoma Bay CVE-62 in the Pacific.
When he returned home from the war in 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Iris Wilson, in the Chapel at the Naval Shipyard in San Diego, California. They lived in Los Angeles for several years before they returned to Parsons where J.D. began his business career as an entrepreneur.
J.D. began his first business with his childhood best friend as a journeyman carpenter building custom cabinets. It wasn’t long before he was called into active duty with the U.S. Army Reserve, serving with the 930th Ordinance Ammunition Company stationed in Korea.
Upon returning home in 1952, he began another business building homes in Parsons. He simultaneously became an Allstate insurance agent and then started his own independent insurance agency, Baumgardner & Seaton. While continuing the agency, he became a real estate broker and founded Baumgardner Real Estate.
J.D. was a man of limitless energy, discipline and inimitable work ethic. He was a people person who loved celebrations, especially parades, and he organized and participated in thousands of events over his lifetime. He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed cooking fish fillets for family and friends on his deck at the lake. God blessed J.D. with a beautiful tenor voice and J.D. used that voice to glorify God by singing in church choirs most of his life. J.D. embodied the “can do” spirit and tackled all issues with his zest for life and leadership skills.
J.D. fought in two foreign wars to preserve the American values of individual freedom and democracy. He lived the American Dream of working hard to provide a higher standard of living and a better life for his family. No doubt he lived a long life because of his commitment to his family and to service in his community. J.D. was the patriarch of the Baumgardner family, a true example of what it means to be an honorable man. Our hearts are broken by his passing.
J. D. is preceded in death by his wife Iris, his parents, his brother Charles Baumgardner, his sister and husband, Lillie Mae and Arthur Laurell, his brother and wife, Tom and Jo Baumgardner and his sister-in-law and husband, Lois and Ken Markham. J.D. is survived by his children, James Daniel Baumgardner, Jr. of San Antonio, and T S Morgan of Dallas. J.D. also is survived by six grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, eleven nieces and nephews and his brother and wife, Gerald and Sandy Baumgardner.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Online condolences can be made at: samharveyfuneralhome.com.
Services entrusted to Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home
J.D.’s remains will be interred in the Baumgardner family plot at Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Parsons.
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