Edward L. Baden, died swiftly and peacefully with his daughter Carla holding his hand at Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center on Friday, April 1, 2022. Though he died on April Fools’ Day, trust he was no fool. He was a man of deep integrity, generosity and decency through to his marrow and heart cockles.
He was born on a kitchen table at the family homestead outside Hamler, Ohio on August 6, 1936, the youngest of 11. He inherited his sweet tooth and sweet heart from his first generation German immigrant mother Alma (Werner) and his pragmatism and prudence from his second generation German father Carl.
He played baseball and basketball in high school and his athleticism scored him a date with Joan Hefflinger. As he’d recount he fell in love with her because “she let him kiss her on the first date.” They married in 1957 after she finished high school and he’d finished his apprenticeship as a brick mason under the tutelage of a Swedish taskmaster who taught him the importance of being on time and making sure things were square. Joan and Ed honeymooned well and son Bradley was born 11 months later.
Ed worked as a brick mason for 20 years until as he put it, “he left it to the young guys,” but remained a lifetime member of the bricklayer and masons union. Subsequently he worked at Ford Motor Company and retired after 25 years of service.
Ed loved the Lord faithfully and was a devoted member of Zion Lutheran Church until the day he died. He served on many committees over the years and even laid the cornerstone on Zion’s present building, which seems fitting as he was a cornerstone of the church.
He also loved to give. He contributed generously to Zion and to other causes that touched his heart—organizations helping to save the planet and the critters and souls that inhabit it. He worked for Churches United Pantry and volunteered in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. He and Joan hosted a German exchange student (Thomas Shultz) who remains a lifelong bonus son.
Ed had an explorer’s heart and he and Joan traveled well and often. They visited all fifty U.S states, drove the whole of Canada and traveled to many European countries over their sixty-two year marriage. They also enjoyed watching sports together.
Ed couldn’t be called a sports fanatic, but he was a fan of all manner of sports. He enjoyed watching college girls volleyball and the Little League World Series as much (and maybe even more) than watching the pros. He’s likely lamenting the timing of his death as he missed the NCAA championship game this year and his opportunity to root for the underdog.
He also liked to gamble. Mostly on the Stock market, but also enjoyed going “cha-chingin” (as Joan called it) with his best buddy Sam twice a month at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo. He and Sam were just there a week ago because Ed lived—really lived—right up until the moment he died.
As Joan’s sister commented on learning about Ed’s death, “to know Ed was to love Ed.” His heart and giving spirit was enormous. He believed in giving a hand out and a hand up. He laughed hard and loved harder. He was the best of humanity. He will be sorely missed.
A dedicated husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather he is survived by Bradley D. Baden and Carla J. Baden; one grandchild, Sarah J. (Ryan) Gerding and three great grandchildren Cameron, Mason and Ryah Gerding.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Joan, his parents and siblings, Arthur, Walter, Harold, George, Paul, Robert, Fredrick Baden, Olga Groll, Nora Littrell and Irene Baden and grandson-in-law Ryan Gerding.
Family will welcome friends at Zion Lutheran Church (1300 Edgewood Drive, Lima) from 2-4 PM on Sunday, April 10, 2022. The Celebration of Life service will begin at 4 PM, with a light supper to follow. Pastor Dan Gutman will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Zion Lutheran Church Endowment or Churches United Pantry.
Condolences may be expressed at www.chamberlainhuckeriede.com.