Tom was born to W.C. and Stella (Lyle) Baumgardner on Feb. 27, 1931, at their home in Parsons. He attended schools in Parsons, graduating from Parsons High School in 1949 with many classmates who would remain lifelong friends.
He married the love of his life, Dimple Jo Ann “Jo” Pittman in 1953. To this union were born three sons, Tommy Joe Jr., Brian Jean and Bruce Jeffrey.
Tom’s career with GMAC spanned 35 years and included stints in Kansas City, Springfield, Mo., Denver and Lincoln, Neb. He retired from management in 1991, after which he and Jo moved to Joplin.
His retirement years were filled with his love of reading, growing tomatoes, trout fishing and following KU basketball. In addition to spoiling their eight grandchildren, he and Jo spent wonderful times traveling and visiting with dear friends Bob and Dorothy Christy of Huntsville, Ala.
Tom was a kind man of superior mind and wit. He was a happy and optimistic storyteller who loved life and had no regrets.
He is survived by his wife, Jo, of the home; his sons, Tommy Joe Baumgardner Jr., and his wife, Sandy, and their children, Trey and Andrew of North Platte, Neb., Brian Baumgardner and his wife, Molly, and their children, Katie Jo, Paul, Gwendolyn and Amelia of Louisburg and Bruce Baumgardner and his wife, Pam, and their children, Chris and Wes of Plainfield, Ill.; his sister, Lillie Mae Laurell of Jackson Mich.; his brothers, J.D. Baumgardner, and his wife, Iris, of Mount Vernon, Texas, and Gerald Baumgardner, and his wife, Sandy, of Emporia; two great granddaughters; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an older brother, William Charles Baumgardner Jr.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Tom’s niece, Sherry (Jim) Sutton, friend Don (Connie) Meier and the many kind nurses, aids and friends whose Christian words and acts eased our dad’s suffering these last few months.
The graveside service will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Memorial Lawn Cemetery patio in Parsons. Burial will follow. The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the service Tuesday at Carson Wall Funeral Home in Parsons. Friends are requested to meet at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Missouri Conservation Department or to the charity of choice in Tom’s name, and these may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, 112 N. 26th St., P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357. Condolences and remembrances may be left for the family at www.wallfuneralservices.com.