Service:Friday, April 20, at 11:00 A. M. in Congregation Beth El, 109 East Avenue, Norwalk. Rabbi Joseph Ron Fish will officiate.Interment:Burial with full military honors will follow in Beth Israel Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk.  A celebration of life will be held at the home immediately after interment.Shiva:Will be observed at the late residence, 4-12 Singing Woods Road, Norwalk, through Wednesday, starting at 7:00 P.M. each evening.

Walter Baum


August 4, 1925 ~ April 16, 2012

Local Capitalist

 Walter Baum, age 86, of Norwalk, husband of Merle Miller Baum, died Monday, 16 April 2012, in Norwalk Hospital due to complications after a broken hip.

Born 4 August 1925, in Nonnenweier, Germany, he was the son of the late Morris and Alice (Moch) Baum. Escaping Nazi Germany with his parents in the late 1930’s, Mr. Baum settling in Norwalk as a refugee, attended local schools before entering the U.S. Army as World War II was underway.  Due to his command of the German language and high intellect, he was chosen to serve in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the modern-day CIA, where he learned the art of interrogation.

Returning home after the war, he was a founder of a local Norwalk business that began on 1 April 1946, named Stafford Higgins Industries, Inc.  As a prominent local employer for many years, Mr. Baum shared an enthusiasm for his business career that was compelling.  Starting with very little, and even less working capital, he forged a business that became a national distributor of women’s sportswear, one of the largest in that field.  His business began in the Twin Cities building (where Fat Cat Pizza is today), grew in another location (where the present day Klaff’s is), before locating to its final location on Willard Road, all in Norwalk.

As a prominent businessman, he had the opportunity to touch many lives, and to mentor his two sons, Winthrop and Mark.  Later in his career, among his other activities, he took on the business of banking and financial services, becoming a key board member of a large Connecticut bank, amongst his other business interests.  In his later years, he gave the University of Bridgeport the benefit of his advice, serving on their Board of Trustees until his passing.

Survivors, in addition to his wife of nearly 63-years of marriage, include two sons; Winthrop Baum and his wife Stefanie, of Fairfield, Mark Baum and his wife Carol Lion, of New York City, and a granddaughter; Lauren Marissa Baum.

Services will take place Friday at 11:00 A. M. in Congregation Beth El, 109 East Avenue, Norwalk. Rabbi Joseph Ron Fish will officiate.

Burial with full military honors will follow in Beth Israel Cemetery, Richards Avenue, Norwalk.  A celebration of life will be held at the home immediately after interment.

Shiva, a period of mourning, will be observed at the late residence, 4-12 Singing Woods Road, Norwalk, through Wednesday, starting at 7:00 P.M. each evening.

  1. Our hearts are heavy to learn of your great loss. We wish you strength and hope your loving memories will bring you comfort duing this difficult time. With love and sympathy, The Mednikoffs

    April 18, 2012
    Howard & Ellen Mednikoff -
  • Hearfelt condolences to Mark and all the family. May you all find solace in knowing that life’s journey is now complete and peace reigns.

    Sincerely, Susan Gainsborg
    (friend of Mark Baum)

    April 18, 2012
    SUSAN GAINSBORG -
  • …with love, admiration, compassion and fond memories, we wish Walter a peaceful rest.

    April 18, 2012
    Cheryl and Sherwin -
  • Deep sympathy to Win and family. Mr Baum was always so gracious during the years Weatherby Associates’ offices were located at Van Zant Street.

    April 18, 2012
    Andrea Light -
  • R.I.P. to a great man that will be remembered and admired for many years to come.

    April 19, 2012
    Joseph Cote' -
  • Words alone cannot express how sorry we are about Walter’s passing. He will not be forgotten as a friend or as a business partner. He was always a constant source of encouragement, inspiration and advice and I will grealy miss our regular meetings .To all within the Baum family but particularly Merle, Winthrop and Mark, Gloria and myself offer our deepest condolences on your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

    April 19, 2012
    Grant and Gloria Stoddart -
  • On behalf of the Finance Committee of the University of Bridgeport Board of Trustees, of which Walter Baum was a very important and extremely valuable member, I wish to extend our sympathies and condolences to members of his family. While you all had an opportunity to see him as a private person, we had many occasions to learn about his qualifications and high standards of performance in the professional realm.

    There was not one meeting of the Finance Committee which was not considerably enriched by Walter’s participation, questioning and analysis. He was always lucid and sharing with his colleagues his rich knowledge of business and finance. Many a University budget was reconsiderd, modified and improved due to his input.

    I, particularly, have made a continuing effort to get to know Walter more personally. On several occasions we discussed matters beyond the realms of the Finance Committee. He usually showed interest in matters of culture, literature and philosophy. Yet, he always came down as a man with strong roots in reality.

    We will all miss his participation, his keen analytical powers and in his commitment to making this University an important actor in the academic life of the city of Bridgeport, state of Connecticut and the United States.

    May he rest in peace.

    “Zecher zadik le bracha” (The memory of a righteous man is a blessing).

    A certificate denoting the planting of Trees in Israel in Memory of Walter Baum through a contribution to the Jewish National Fund will be sent to the family.

    Dr. Nicholas N. Kittrie, KStJ
    Chair
    Finance Committee
    University of Bridgeport
    and
    Distinguished University Professor
    and Professor in Law
    American University School of Law
    Washington, DC

    April 21, 2012
    Dr. Nicholas N. Kittrie, KStJ, Member, University of Bridgeport, Board of Trustees, Chair Finance Committee -
  • To Win and Family:

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your Dad. May he RIP.

    April 25, 2012
    Janice Millman -
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    *