Frank P. Baummer, 92

Transit union president

May 31, 2007

Frank P. Baummer, a retired streetcar operator who headed the 2,200-mem- ber transit workers union for 16 years, died of pneumonia May 24 at Charlestown Retirement Community. He was 92.

Born in Baltimore and raised on North Durham Street, he was a 1930 graduate of the old St. Michael's Commercial School in East Baltimore. He worked at Montgomery Ward and was a manager of an Arundel Ice Cream Co. store. He became a Baltimore Transit Co. streetcar operator in early 1941 and became a dispatcher seven years later.

In 1952, he was elected to the board of Division 1300 of the Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of the AFL-CIO, and two years later became its president. He served until voluntarily giving up the post in 1970.

He led his division through two strikes, including a 24-day outage in 1968 and a wildcat strike the same year when bus drivers walked off their jobs after one of their members was killed.

Mr. Baummer supported the state's takeover of the formerly privately owned transit company.

"My stomach is getting tired of taking all the ulcers," he told a Sun reporter when he declined to seek union re-election.

When he retired from the union in July 1970, he returned to his former job as an Eastern Division dispatcher for what is now the Maryland Transit Administration. He retired in 1979.

Mr. Baummer lived in Catonsville and Parkville for many years and maintained rose gardens.

A Mass was offered Monday at Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville, where he was a member.

Survivors include a son, Richard Joseph Baummer of Catonsville; a daughter, Joyce Anne Mannone of Sykesville; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. His wife of 63 years, the former Catherine Martin, died in 2003. Another son, Martin Gerard Baummer, died in 1994.

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