Wilma Katherine (Koengeter) Baumbach, age 89, passed away on June 12, 2020. She was born at her parents rural farm home in Chelsea, Michigan. The first eight years of her elementary education was in one room, called The Jerusalem School.
It was in high school that her vocal talent was quickly recognized, singing in an operetta in her sophomore year. Following high school graduation she enrolled at The Music Conservatory at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, majoring in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance. It was in the University Acapella Choir that the first soprano met a baritone, named Ralph Baumbach. They married on June 24, 1950. Her passing was just 12 days short of their 70th anniversary.
Wilma’s vocation was family. Her avocation was service. She directed children and adult choirs in churches and communities for over 35 years. She was co-founder of The CROP Walk for World Hunger, The Stoughton Village Player’s, The Heritage Garden Club, The Entre Nous Study Club, the food pantry, the Library Board, the Blanket Makers, and The Women’s Lydda Circle at Covenant Lutheran Church. Wilma was Stoughton’s Welcome Wagon Hostess, welcoming over 3,000 families to Stoughton area homes from 1976-1989. She sang in the Madison Symphony Chorus for 20 years.
Throughout the years Wilma made many of the children’s clothes. She designed and made many of the paraments for the altar and chancel at Covenant Lutheran Church. Her artistic talent blossomed in later years with water color paintings.
Her interest in other cultures, history and archeology relating to Biblical sites led Wilma and Ralph to plan and host tours to Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. In later years their tours also included Europe, Australia, New Zealand and China.
In 1989 Wilma and Ralph received the community’s honor of being named Queen and King of Syttende Mai.
Surviving is her husband, Ralph; daughters, Becky (Charlie), Jenny (Tom), Melanie (Dan); son, Dan (Linda); eight grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and one sister, Arlene Harvey of Chelsea, Michigan.
Private services with the family were held. The Celebration of her Life will be announced at a future time.
Please share your memories of Wilma at: www.CressFuneralService.com.
Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street, Stoughton