Charles Richard Baum Jr., 86, of Colona, died Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, at Illini Restorative Care Center after a long illness. Funeral services celebrating his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the Colona United Methodist Church, 1709 Cleveland Rd., Colona. The Rev. Sandy Bunnell will officiate. Burial will be in Colona Township Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Vandemore Funeral Home Ltd., Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be left to the Colona United Methodist Church or the Catfish Jazz Society Scholarship Fund.
He was born on Feb. 26, 1926, in Geneseo, the son of Charles R. Baum and Reenste (Heeren) Baum. He grew up on the farm in Colona and moved as a young child to a farm west of Geneseo. He was a musician and entertainer from his early days, playing clarinet and tap dancing for county meetings and state gatherings. He was always accompanied on the piano by his mother. He graduated from Geneseo High School and joined the U.S. Army and was a member of the U.S. Army band during World War II. Charles married Darlene Scherer of Rock Island and they began farming in Colona and Geneseo in 1948.
He enjoyed life to the fullest, serving on the Henry County Board of Supervisors, The Bi-State Planning Commission, Black Hawk College Board, Henry County Health Improvement Association and Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors. He was one of the founding members of the Henry County Bank. Charles was a member of the Henry County Pork Producers and Illinois Pork Producers. He served on the Illinois State Fair Board. He and Darlene enjoyed a full life, loved people and entertaining, even having an opportunity to host, in 1980, then candidate for vice president, George Bush, at the farm. In his retirement, he joined the Catfish Jazz Society, volunteered for the Bix Beiderbecke Festival and played with a number of music groups locally and in Florida. Music was his great gift and great love.
Survivors include his wife, Darlene; one son and spouse, C. Richard and Nancy Baum III of Geneseo; one daughter, Lisa Baum of Iowa City, Iowa; four grandsons and spouses, Daniel A. and Emily Baum of Geneseo, Mitchell J. and Kristin Baum of Ames, Iowa, Brent B. Waters of Solon, Iowa and Vincent L. Waters of Tipton, Iowa; and four great grandsons, Clayton, William, Maxwell and Jacob Baum. He was preceded in death by his parents.