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Emil Baumbach Jr., 88

Businessman, outdoorsman, traveler

April 10th, 2018 8:59 AM

Emil Baumbach Jr.

Emil August Baumbach Jr., 88, who grew-up in Oak Park and River Forest, died on April 6, 2018. He attended Northwestern Military and Naval Academy. He distinguished himself and graduated as battalion commander, an early indication of his leadership skills. He studied business at Northwestern University in preparation for the helm of his family business, E.A. Baumbach Manufacturing Company. But first he served in the Army, 2nd Armored Division, in Germany. His new bride, Lynn Hughes, joined him there for a year of service, travel, and adventure. The love of travel lasted his entire life. 

The couple established a home in Oak Park and welcomed the first of their three sons, Emil III. Two more sons, Mark and Christopher, soon followed. For recreation, you could find him on the handball court. Summers were spent at the family home in Williams Bay, right across the lake from the military academy he attended. 

He shared his love of the outdoors with his boys, enjoying fishing, boating, and golf. He would often be found grilling fresh-caught fish. His commitment to the lake was evident during his presidency of the Geneva Lake Association, dedicated to conservation, preservation, and environmental integrity. 

His love of travel continued throughout his life. He ventured throughout Asia and Europe, often with family, sometimes for business, and sometimes with friends engaging in one of his favorite hobbies, antique cars. During retirement, he continued to enjoy travel with Lynn, wintering in California and Florida. 

Back home in River Forest, he was an engaging attendee of the "Off the Street Gang," an association of retired gentlemen who lunched together each week. The most notable aspects of his life were his generosity, his hospitality, and his love of family. His wife of 65 years was by his side each day. Many of the next generation spent significant time with their grandparents at the lake and were greeted with song, "good morning, good morning, you slept the whole night through, good morning, good morning to you!" Back in town he often attended their school programs, games, activities and, with great joy, their weddings. Eight grandchildren and now seven great-grandchildren filled his heart with love and his days with joy. 

A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 744 Fair Oaks Ave. in Oak Park, followed by private interment. In lieu of flowers, donations to Fair Oaks Church (fairoakspres.org) or the Salvation Army (salvationarmy.org) are appreciated. 

Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.