Gladys Mae Baum, 90, of Valparaiso passed away peacefully at home on Monday, February 19, 2024. She was born November 15, 1933, to Carl & Jessie (Rheinhart) Swartz and attended school in Starke County. Gladys made her career with Shults-Lewis Children’s Home in Morgan Township for nearly 50 years as a Development Clerk. The meticulous attention she gave to her yard and flower gardens was legendary and family travels were always cherished times. But it was fishing trips with Leland and her finishing with the bigger catch that became family lore. And despite her frustrations with one of her daughter’s efforts to satisfy her in younger years, Gladys’ reply to those same efforts became “Oh wonderful” in her final years.
On March 15, 1951, she married Leland Baum who preceded her in death in 2001. Survivors include their children; Pam (Dave) Chamness of Kouts, Rick Baum of Valparaiso, Soni (Keith) Wilson of Valparaiso, Debbie Witty (Paul) Blomberg of Minnesota, brothers; John (Joyce) Swartz & Douglas Swartz, 10 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and loving in-laws & friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Barbara, brother, Robert, and daughter-in-law, Linda Beal Baum, Rhyann Sikora (great granddaughter), Ja’Kylan Chamberlain (great great grandson).
A visitation will be held Friday from 10 – 12 noon at Moeller Funeral Home, Valparaiso with funeral service beginning at 12:00 noon, Pastor Gerald Frump officiating. Burial will follow at Adams Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Shults-Lewis Children’s Home. Click here to watch the recorded funeral service.


Thinking of you and remembering many good times with Gladys over the years. She was more than a good friend, like a sister. God has blessed me greatly through her as she has so many. May God bless you richly through this time. -Carole Baum 

I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray that God will comfort you in the time ahead. Love you guys, -Janet Darrow

Many fond memories of taking care of pigs and other animals on the Baum Homestead while the family was on their annual fishing/camping trip.. The pigs always got out, but by the time you returned, I had found all the holes in the fence and fixed them. Gladys and Bud are what couples are supposed to be, and we hope we have stolen their good qualities to make our marraige as impactful in service as theirs. Your family always welcomed me while I was growing up; I always felt at home when visiting. Gladys and Bud taught me the art, science and love of gardening - which I now get to pass on to my grandchildren. I will never forget the pet pig that lived in the house, the good meals we shared, and the joy of life we got to share together. I will also vividly remember the time we picked Gladys up for church, and she let me know I was getting old by pointing out the balding spot on the back of my head. She left us a lesson to enjoy life all the way through the tough times by living it everyday - what a great example. To Soni, Rick, Pam and Debbie: thank you for making me feel a part of your family. I wish I could be there to hug each of you and share stories in celebration of Glady's life. I know I will see her in heaven and look forward to hearing her say "hello, Jimmie, my boy" once again. -Jim Hunt 

Dear Gladys’ family. What a long wonderful life your Mom had, Grandma and Great Grandma lived! I knew your dear sweet Momma when we lived in Valpo in the early 1960’s and for short times for the next 15 years. Your momma was always so loving and kind to me and my family. God bless you all as you say your goodbyes. May God give you comfort and peace. I am the little sister of Gene Page in case you don’t remember and the daughter of Robert and Opal Page. -Randy Sue (Page) McKeever 


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