Christian 03

Lionel Baumet

July 20, 1939 ~ October 19, 2021 (age 82)



What an amazing complicated and blessed man you were.  Are I suppose, because your life here is done but your new life has just begun.  You were born in 1939 into chaos and pain.  Raised on uncertainty and grounded in a “if you fight fair you lose” mentality.  Your father offered you little affection, but you gave love and dedication to the family God ultimately gave to you.  Your mother suffered her own pain and mental illness and left you largely to fend for yourself.  Still again, God brought to you a wife who poured out herself to the children you shared and indeed to you as well.  What a blessing you must have felt. 

You served your country in the army.  Well you enlisted anyway and couldn’t get out.  That was the first time you had left the New York City Limits.

You my friend were a charmer.  Funny and fast witted till the end.  Charming enough to entice an innocent country girl to be your wife.  Good Job Lionel.  You said you knew you would marry her because she was the only girl you couldn’t corrupt.  And you never did.

You married 60 years ago but it didn’t start easy.  You brought the chaos of your childhood into that marriage.  You had a son and then twin daughters.  Tragedy made you move from New York City to Illinois farm land where you became the “baddest” guy in town.  Still, you learned to work on the farm and fix up a house.

You met a man at 26 who would become a best friend.  Doug Thomas was not cool like you.  he was the bible banging believer who happened to be your only ride to work one day.  What was it Lionel? 5 days, 7 days later.  You were confronted by the Holy Spirit and like all who are, you were humbled, broken, repentant.  How precious did that grace appear the hour you first believed. 

And now your story begins.  You learned to read with a King James bible.  Reading aloud to a wife who thought you might have just lost your mind.  She might have been sweet but she didn’t know what you now knew.  She was just the first of many to see what the grace of God could do to a broken soul.  She came to faith like so many more and your marriage became a model of perfection…  Ok.  Not perfection.  But by comparison night and day.  You struggled with your flaws but you were a new man.

After that, you got your education, became a systems analyst in a major corporation working on the cutting edge of business systems development.  You became a real estate investor, started a business and most shockingly the 1950’s style gang banger started a church with the that same best friend and ministered to hundreds over the years.

Somehow wherever you went you found people who “got you”.  Generous and open hearted but blunt and yes probably a little offensive.  Boundaries and limits just meant something a little bit different to you than most people. 

Despite all that, for 20 years you were embraced and loved by this church and in this community of believers here in Northern Minnesota.

From the moment you met Christ your life was on a fundamentally different path.  Still, it wasn’t easy.  You spent most of your adult life in severe physical pain.  You experienced betrayals and heartaches, failures, and setbacks.  You experienced inexpressible grief when you lost your sweet Kristie.  And when you were asked, “do you ever get angry at god?”  you always answered the same way, “how could I be angry at God.  I gave him nothing and he gave me everything”

And this truly is the story of your life.  From chaos to anger, anger to hardness, from hardness to brokenness, and brokenness to repentance, repentance brought forgiveness, and forgiveness gratitude, gratitude taught you service, and finally service brought you peace. 

So Lionel, Husband to Ellen who loves you still, father to Michael and Jeff who honor you, Kristie and the twins Lisa and Louise who are waiting for you, friend to hundreds your life has impacted, servant of Christ Jesus and witness to his mercy, grace and loving kindness, enter into the joy of your Lord. 

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