OBITUARY

Harold Baumgarten

March 2, 1925December 25, 2016

DR. HAROLD (HAL) BAUMGARTEN, M.D., D-DAY SURVIVOR, DESCRIBED BY TOM BROKAW AS "ONE OF THE GREATEST OF THE GREATEST GENERATION", DIED ON DEC 25, 2016. HE WAS BORN IN NEW YORK, MARCH 2, 1925 AND BECAME A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FLORIDA IN 1947. HE LANDED IN THE FIRST WAVE ON OMAHA BEACH ON D-DAY, JUNE 6,1944 AND WAS WOUNDED FIVE TIMES IN JUST 32 HOURS OF DEVASTATING COMBAT AND ALWAYS WONDERED WHY G-D HAD SPARED HIM THAT DAY. THUS, HE DEVOTED HIS LIFE TO "PAYING BACK" BY COMPLETING HIS EDUCATION TO BECOME A TEACHER AND THEN A PHYSICIAN TO HELP OTHERS IN LIFE. HE RECEIVED HIS B.A. DEGREE FROM NYU AND HIS MASTERS DEGREE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI. HE THEN TAUGHT BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS AT PALM BEACH HIGH SCHOOL FOR OVER FIVE YEARS. WHEN THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI OPENED A MEDICAL SCHOOL HE APPLIED TO ATTEND, WAS IMMEDIATELY ACCEPTED AND THEN GRADUATED MEDICAL SCHOOL. HE PRACTICED MEDICINE AS A BOARD CERTIFIED PHYSICIAN FOR OVER 40 YEARS. HE ALSO WORKED PART TIME AS THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF GULF LIFE INSURANCE. WHEN HE RETIRED FROM HIS PRIVATE PRACTICE HAL WORKED AN ADDITIONAL SIX YEARS AT THE LOCAL VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TO HELP HIS FELLOW VETERANS. HIS MENTOR WAS STEPHEN AMBROSE, FAMOUS AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN AND FOUNDER OF THE D-DAY MUSEUM IN NEW ORLEANS, WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN DR. BAUMGARTEN'S LIFE, ENCOURAGING HIM TO TELL, SPEAK AND WRITE ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES OF D-DAY. HE HAS WRITTEN THREE BOOKS AND GIVEN LECTURES ALL OVER THE WORLD (ESPECIALLY IN NORMANDY, FRANCE), AT PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, POLICE ACADEMIES, CHURCHES, THE WWII MUSEUM AND ASSORTED BUSINESS GROUPS IN THE UNITED STATES. HE HAS BEEN ON DUTCH, AUSTRALIAN, GERMAN AND FRENCH TV AND IN MANY DOCUMENTARIES ON THE HISTORY, MILITARY AND CNN CHANNELS AND VARIOUS RADIO PROGRAMS IN THE U.S. FOR HIS MILITARY SERVICE HE RECEIVED THE PURPLE HEART, TWO BRONZE STARS, COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE, ETO MEDAL WITH BATTLESTAR AND ARROWHEAD. FROM FRANCE HE RECEIVED THE CROIX DE GUERRE WITH SILVER PALM AND THE KNIGHT OF THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION. HE HAS BEEN WRITTEN UP IN MANY NEWSPAPERS THROUGHOUT THE USA SUCH AS, TODAY, TIME MAGAZINE, USA TODAY AND WAS ON THE COVER OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE. HE APPEARED ON TOM BROKAW'S PROGRAM ON NBC SEVERAL TIMES AND HIS STORY WAS USED IN THE FIRST 20 MINUTES OF "SAVING PRIVATE RYAN".

DR. BAUMGARTEN ASSISTED TOM HANKS IN PRESENTING STEVEN SPEILBERG HIS KENNEDY HONORS AWARD AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, WHICH INCLUDED DINNER AT THE WHITE HOUSE, AND WAS HONORED WITH NUMEROUS AWARDS AND PLAQUES OVER HIS MANY YEARS OF SHARING HIS FIRST HAND EXPERIENCES WITH THE WORLD. HE WILL BE PICTURED IN MANY MUSEUMS FOREVER, ESPECIALLY AT THE AMERICAN CEMETERY IN NORMANDY, FRANCE.

HAL WAS MARRIED TO HIS SWEETHEART AND THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, RITA FOR 67 YEARS AND LEAVES BEHIND HIS LOVING CHILDREN KAREN (LEOPOLD) SHER, BONNIE (KEN) FRIEDMAN AND HAL (BRENDA) BAUMGARTEN, HIS SIX ADORING GRANDCHILDREN; MICHAEL ZABREK, ROSE (JEREMY) SOSO, SAMANTHA SHER, MATTHEW AND KATY ROSE FRIEDMAN, AND RACHEL BAUMGARTEN, A GREAT BROTHER-IN-LAW, BERT SNYDER, HIS PRECIOUS SISTER, BEATRICE YATES AND MANY NIECES AND NEPHEWS. HE WAS A LEGEND OF A MAN WHO WAS GREATLY LOVED AND WILL BE MISSED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM.

IN LIEU OF FLOWERS IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE DONATIONS IN HIS NAME HIS CHOICES WOULD BE; THE WWII MUSEUM ON MAGAZINE STREET IN NEW ORLEANS, THE JACKSONVILLE JEWISH CENTER OR THE BETH EL BEACHES SYNOGOGUE IN PONTE VEDRA.

GRAVESIDE SERVICES WILL BE HELD AT 10:30 a.m. ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2016 AT THE NEW CENTER CEMETERY SECTION OF EVERGREEN CEMETERY WHICH IS LOCATED ON 43RD ST OFF OF MAIN STREET, JACKSONVILLE, FL. INTERMENT BY HARDAGE GARDENS. Please Sign the guestbook at www.hardagegiddensoaklawnchapel.com HARDAGE-GIDDENS, THE OAKLAWN CHAPEL, 4801 San Jose Blvd is serving the family.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Memories

Harold Baumgarten

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Patricia Mastropolo

December 14, 2019

I taught WW2 in my ELA 8th grade class and during our D Day lesson, I particularly focused on Dr. Baumgarten. My students and I were just captivated by this man. Dr. Baumgarten exemplifies what a HERO encompasses. He will never be forgotten by my students or my family. Many of my students have told me they think before they act and say "What would Harold do?" He reached more individuals than he will ever know. His memory will forever be embedded in our hearts. Dr. Baumgarten was a living angel and may he rest in peace.

John Elliott

September 2, 2019

I thank the Lord often for our heroes, exceptional men such as Dr Baumgarten. What a true national treasure always to be remembered. Thank you for your service and example to us all - RIP Dr Baumgarten. You will always be in our hearts.

Howard Diamond

June 16, 2019

I am sitting here watching the documentary and seeing and hearing your father. I have to add to the accolades he has no doubt received that he was an incredible man. How fortunate you were to have him a part of your lives. May he Rest In Peace and always be remembered for what he accomplished.
Howard Diamond New Jersey
6/16/2019

Brian Stanton

May 3, 2019

I read about Hal’s sacrifice and heroics in the USA Today D-Day 75 special issue this week. I didn’t know he was Jewish until I read this memorial page. In light of the horrible attack recently, on a Synagogue in California, I can’t help but wonder: What are they teaching young people today? The 19 year old who stormed that house of prayer while carrying a rifle was about Hal’s age when Hal landed at Omaha Beach. Many men and women of all colors and creeds have fought, bled and died for us. It is time to teach patriotism 101 in all our schools again. The educational system must remind America’s students that, like Hal’s landing craft, we are all in this boat together. BMS/USC Ret.

Steven Scalici

February 13, 2019

I often watch specials on WWII’s European front, and Dr. Baumgarten’s spoken words of his most horrid D-Day days left an indelible impression on me so as to never forget what hell on Earth must have been like. Your terrestrial journey is over, sir...I hope to meet you ‘up there’ to discuss ‘over there’ with you. RIP, you have surely earned it.

Respectfully, Steven P. Scalici

Kevin O'Connor

June 29, 2018

I met Hal in 2007 at Pointe Du Hoc in Normandy, I have pictures, he was with Rita and we were enthralled to hear his story. I bought his book on my return to the UK and am proud to say I met him (I am to Hals right). God bless and thank you for your service sir. X

Edwin Gitlin

April 15, 2018

Tho I never met Dr Baumgarten(I will always think of him as "Hal"as I saw him on t.v.) I feel I know him. He is my father Leo & my father in law Max Bomser, both of who served in WW2. God rest their souls.May their sacrifices make a better world for all future generations


Lucas Pedroso

February 14, 2018

Grande hal queria ter lutado ao seu lado

Cor van Breukelen

January 23, 2018

Thank you Dr. Baumgarten for all that you gave. I purchased Dr. Baumgarten's book in 2013. I was very impressed by his story and spoke with him by phone to thank him. I also requested if he would be willing to sign my copy of the book. Which he did. I am very proud to have the book with his signature in it. Rest in Peace dear Sir.

Cor van Breukelen, De Bilt, The Netherlands

Henk Dunant

January 22, 2018

As I was ordering nis book, I found out f the passing of Mr Baumgarten. Respect for you, R.I.P.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY