Bayside couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

Donald and Ethel Baumann celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
Photo by Jenna Bagcal
By Jenna Bagcal

Bayside residents Donald and Ethel Baumann tied the knot in 1948.

Last weekend, the happy couple celebrated 70 years of wedded bliss in an intimate celebration which included three generations of family who gathered for their special day.

Ozanam Hall Nursing Home of Queens — located at 42-41 201 St. — played host to the joyous occasion which was arranged by Joann Baumann, the couple’s daughter-in-law.

The couple met as children when they both lived in City Island in the Bronx. Donald Baumann, 91, shared that his now 90-year-old wife lived a few blocks away from his family and was “six months behind” him in grammar school. Baumann recalled their youth growing up on the small Bronx island and said that they would often go swimming together along with their friends.

They started dating when they were about 15 years old and married five years later.

“She [Ethel] was about the only one I ever dated, she came from a wonderful family,” said Baumann. “[It’s been] very good. I don’t think we ever had a real serious fight where one of us walked out or something—nothing like that.”

In recent years, the couple has experienced deteriorating health issues including a broken hip, which sent Ethel Baumann to Ozanam Hall for the past few months. Donald Baumann lives at home with a fulltime caretaker, according to his daughter-in-law who lives next door and is married to their son, Bill Baumann.

“My mother-in-law has had some trouble lately — she broke her hip and unfortunately dementia took over,” said Joann Baumann. “But she still knows who people are and she still recognizes that she’s married 70 years. We just wanted to celebrate the occasion for her and for him.”

Together the couple has three children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with the 11th due in December. Many of their family members live in Queens and Long Island and were present for the celebration.

“This is the first time I think that I’ve seen them all together.” I’m proud of them, they’re all great people,” Donald Baumann said.

When asked what his secret to having a long-lasting marriage like theirs was, Donald Baumann shared this piece of advice: “Marry someone like her.”

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