Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
Frank Bauman, former Director of the Bedford Recreation Department, well-loved Council on Aging volunteer and all-around special fellow passed away this week. Several Bedfordites shared their thoughts with The Citizen to create this appreciation:
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Bauman earlier this week. Bedford has lost a good man and I am honored to help The Bedford Citizen by writing a tribute in honor of Frank: a man who has had a major and lasting impact on the town of Bedford through his many years of community involvement presiding over the Bedford Recreation department, as co-founder of the current Bedford Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball league, and most recently as a volunteer for the Council on Aging.
Although this is a sad event, and an end of an era, Frank’s death brings back fond memories of growing up in Bedford. I can remember riding my bike up to Mr. Bauman’s office in the basement of the Old Town Hall on South Road to submit my registrations for baseball, hockey, or summer tennis programs. Mr. Bauman greeted every kid like they were his own.
The Recreation Department played a vital role in the community back then. Until the late ‘70’s there were four elementary schools operating independently in town; therefore, students would not meet all their Bedford classmates until junior high school. In addition to teaching the competitive and fun nature of organized team sports, the recreation program provided the opportunity to meet elementary school kids from other parts of town throughout the year during events such as a weeknight baseball game or the weekend hockey program; and summer events as well. It appeared Frank was managing a 24/7 job during those years; handling coaches’ requests and people dropping by his house unannounced; while remaining enthusiastic through all the pressure.
In recent years, Frank carried that enthusiasm to his work at the Council on Aging. When we met up occasionally at the grocery store, Frank often invited me to a monthly breakfast meeting to enjoy some of his cooking. Unfortunately, I had not yet capitalized on that offer.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bauman family. I trust that I speak for many of us who grew up in Bedford during the 1970’s and early ‘80’s, and I’m certain I speak for the extended Venuti family as well.
Amy Hamilton, Recreation Director
First and foremost, Frank cared about the kids. He had the ability to relate to kids and to communicate with kids. He understood the importance of early experiences for children and he never let this priority slip. Frank was a do-er; he was hands on, whether on the athletic field or at Recreation family events. The generations of kids who passed through Recreation programs during Frank’s tenure were the beneficiaries of his kindness, his acceptance of all and his tireless effort on their behalf.
Frank’s larger than life personality will long be remembered by those of us fortunate to call ourselves his friends. We miss you already, Frank. Thank you for your kindness, your humor, your support and for being part of our lives.
Mike Rosenberg, Selectman
When I was the editor of the Bedford Minuteman I often thought of the Rec Department as my second office. We coached baseball and sat together in the BHS press box, scoring Bucs football games “for years.” For 40 years Frank Bauman personified the Bedford that we love — creative, responsive, caring and personal. He enhanced the quality of life for two generations of kids. What a great legacy!
Caroline Fedele, Selectman
Mr. Bauman was a true Bedford Dad from when we were young to now. He was everywhere doing really great big things like Springs Brook Park and Kid’s Club and really great small things like the smile, hug and words of support and pride that you got when you saw him. “It takes a village” is an over-used term these days but Mr. Bauman loved his village and felt that same way – his kids were my parent’s kids and we were his. That was how it was and we are all better for it. So many of us want to continue to raise our families this way, get involved, do great things every day to keep Bedford the community we love. He was so proud to see later generations stepping up in big and small ways. Mr. Bauman, you can rest easy now knowing your guidance and example have been passed on to many generations to carry the torch. To Mrs. Bauman, Mike, Tommy and David – our hearts are broken for you. Please lean on the village your Dad loved to heal – we love you all!
So many people have had wonderful things to say; some of their comments are below:
- “I think it would be a great honor to him if everyone could think of one thing they admired about Mr. Bauman that you may not see in yourself and try each day to be that type of person. How proud he would be to know his legacy is living on and bettering people”
- “I truly do not have one memory of Frank when he wasn’t smiling, laughing or talking out of the side of his mouth when he was “trying to whisper”
- “Our little Town is better because of men like Frank Bauman”
- “Thank you for being the Dad to our three great buddies, our Recreation Director, our Coach and most of all our friend”
- “Thank you for all the life lessons”
- “I am a better person for knowing you”
- “Always doing for the good of the kids in town, never asking for anything in return”
- “An excellent example for us all to learn from – thoughtful, happy, supportive, genuine”
- “What I love is that he was a “sports” guy but got the importance of music and arts… He just wanted kids to be kids and have fun”
- “We know the Bedford community in heaven is welcoming you with a big cookout”
- “A true Father, friend and mentor. We all learned something from him at one time or another. I will miss him dearly “
Roberta Ennis, President, Friends of the Council on Aging and board member of Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation (CSF)
I’ve been trying to catch all my thoughts together about Frank since we met when he moved to Bedford. Between school sports, town sports, social, family, the Santa program, school committee, the town center, the COA, and seeing/talking to him all over town, I don’t know where to start. He really was a “Bedford Legend” and will be missed by so many.
CSF is creating a Frank Bauman Scholarship that will be awarded during CSF’s banquet this spring. Donations, with Frank Bauman Scholarship on the memo line, may be sent to
CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars
P. O. Box 585
Bedford, MA 01730