Al Bauman was a son, a brother, an athlete, a husband, a pharmacist, a father,
grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved life, laughed easily, and cherished people.
Albert Samuel Bauman was born January 2, 1931 in Champa Madya Pradesh, India to
Dr. Harvey and Dr. Ella Garber Bauman. He was the third child, following Kenneth and
Clara, and preceding Harvella and Betty.
He was a fun-loving, people-oriented person. His early years were filled with energetic
games at the mission compound with friends, especially Santosh. His schooling was at
Woodstock Boarding School in the Himalayan Mountains -- his favorite place on earth --
where his love for the outdoors was kindled. He was a serious fern collector. He kept
them pressed in a wooden box for so many years that even his daughters were able to
browse through them. He made lifelong friendships at Woodstock, especially Kavi
Singh. He excelled in sports, and experienced a well-rounded education. He often said
that he took violin for 6 years, one year over six times!
Upon graduating from Woodstock, he went to Bluffton College in Ohio. There he met
Maurice Kaufmann who invited him to the farm in Illinois for a school holiday. Katherine
(Kathy) was Maurice’s younger sister. After a gap year, Kathy went to Bluffton College.
She became friends with Al’s younger sisters, Harvella and Betty. Cupid’s arrow struck
Al. He asked Kathy to go on a date, but Kathy turned him down saying she had to study
German. Harve and Betty appealed to Kathy...and the rest is history. Al and Kathy were
married at the North Danvers Mennonite Church on June 4, 1953, after he graduated
from Bluffton College. They moved to Columbus, Ohio so Al could pursue a Masters in
Pharmacy at The Ohio State University. Rachel was born. Kathy graduated from
Bluffton. Dianne joined the family. After Al graduated from OSU, they moved to Chicago,
Illinois for seminary prior to getting a call to the mission field in India.
The family moved to Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India for Al and Kathy’s call. He taught
pharmacy and ran the pharmacy department at the Christian Medical College and
Hospital. JoAnn joined the family during the five year stint in Vellore. Al’s parents and
brother were in India, too, so holidays were spent with family, and also with friends who
were colleagues. One of his pharmacy students, Thomas Manoharan, kept in contact
with Al, even visiting him in person in February 2023.
After returning to the US in 1963, the family moved back to Columbus, Ohio. Al worked
for Mt. Carmel Hospital, and then spent the rest of his career in the pharmaceutical
industry for Warren-Teed (and all the subsequent iterations of the company), retiring as
Director of Manufacturing by the time Pfizer owned the company. He was a hard-worker,
a kind boss, and someone who always pitched in no matter what needed to be done.
His love of Pekingese dogs started when a coworker needed to rehome her dog.
The center of Al’s life was the church. He and Kathy were early members of Columbus
Mennonite Fellowship/Neil Avenue Mennonite/Columbus Mennonite Church. The "Old-Timers" were their family here. He served on many church commissions and
participated in many small groups, taught Sunday School, worked with NNEMAP, Crop
Walk, Central Ohioans for Peace, Central District, Piecemakers, Sowing Circle, facilities
commission, and as a lay leader. That list is incomplete.
Once at a church retreat he started a campfire “by magic” and thereafter was the retreat
fire starter for popping popcorn.
He was active in the Bluffton College Alumni Association, serving as President and
receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. He was also active in and recognized with
another Distinguished Alumni Award in 1972 by the College of Pharmacy at the Ohio
Al and Kathy enjoyed many trips in the US and world-wide to see birds. Costa Rica was
his favorite birding trip. Often Maurice and Mary Kaufmann were traveling companions.
Al attended many Woodstock School reunions in the US and Europe, rekindling
friendships, and traveling with Harvella and Betty. He returned many times to India with
family and friends. Rachel, Dianne and JoAnn traveled with him on different trips.
He and Kathy also enjoyed watching Western and Southern Tennis Tournaments with
church friends, Maris and Nancy Franke. He was a St. Louis Cardinal baseball fan, and
OSU sports fan. Al and Kathy enjoyed square dancing with several clubs for many
years. He enjoyed PROBUS meetings, continuing to learn throughout his life.
But most of all Al loved to laugh and play with humans of all ages. He readily made fun
of his own foibles. After he retired, he was a caregiver for grandson Daniel. This
relationship gave him an entry into the lives of many Columbus Mennonite Church
children. He loved them all. The grandchildren have many memories of being chased by
Grandpa (and Squirrely), his easy laugh, and fun spirit. We all remember his love of ice
cream and Indian food.
Al was diagnosed with kidney cancer in April 2022. He was grateful for all who cared for
him - Kathy, the girls, Comfort Keeper staff, OhioHealth Hospice, Westerwood Nursing
Facility staff and Capital City Hospice.
Al is survived by his wife, Kathy; daughters and sons-in-law: Rachel and Conrad Gratz;
Dianne and Doug Sprunger; JoAnn and Paul Knapke; grandchildren and spouses:
David (and Kathleen) Sprunger; Jill (and Gabriel) Lugo; Derek Sprunger (and fiancée,
Paxton Lewis); Katherine Knapke; Daniel (and Evangeline) Gratz; great-granddaughter,
Emmarie Lugo; sisters: Harvella Stutzman and Betty Shelly; brother-in-law, Maurice
Kaufmann; sister-in-law, Kathleen Kaufmann; and many nieces and nephews.
Al was one-of-a-kind and he will be missed by all who knew him.
The Memorial Service will be 11:00 am on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Columbus Mennonite Church. Family will receive friends from 9:30 am- 10:30 am before the memorial service. A zoom option is available if you are unable to attend. Please email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
In lieu of flowers the family would request donations to any of the many places Al held
dear: Columbus Mennonite Church, Bluffton University, Woodstock (boarding school in
India), and Vellore Christian Medical College (in India).