Ernest Baum, 84, of Middletown, died Sunday at Orange Regional Medical Center surrounded by his family. Born in Marburg, Germany, he was two years old when his family left Germany for America in 1936. He spent his early years in the Bronx, and then moved with his family to Orange County, where they became dairy farmers and cattle dealers, as they had been in Germany. While working on the farm, he taught himself how to repair televisions through a home study course and then became the owner of Franklin Television, a repair shop in Goshen. Throughout his life, he was incredibly devoted to his family. He spent countless hours caring for his parents, aunts, and uncles. He was a loving husband; for 52 years, he and his wife Roberta were “Bert and Ernie.” He was ahead of his time in his support of his wife in her career as a Director of Hebrew schools and writer of textbooks; he carefully framed covers of all of her books and hung them throughout the house. As a father, he was all-in. He built birdhouses with his son Rich; taught him photography in a darkroom in the basement; enjoyed nature together; and ordered science and electronics kits to do each month; and started each school day with father-son “talk time.” He loved his daughter-in-law Terri and his grandsons Eli and Jonah dearly, and his brother Ted was his lifelong best friend. Although Ernie didn’t go to college, he was a lifelong learner, reading the New York Times, National Geographic, and many books. He had many hobbies and loved tinkering and working with his hands. He restored old radios, cameras, and tools. He was humble and modest in his desires. A child of the Depression, he liked finding old things and preserving them. He was a quiet, gentle man with a tender heart and a subversive sense of humor. He will be terribly missed. He is survived by Roberta Baum, his wife of 52 years; his son and daughter-in-law Richard Baum and Terri Gerstein; his grandsons Eli and Jonah Baum; and family and friends. The funeral will be held at Temple Sinai on 75 Highland Ave, Middletown, New York on Tuesday, July 2 at 11:00 a.m., with burial to follow the service at the Temple Sinai Cemetery in Circleville, New York. Shiva will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with visitation from 2 - 5 p.m. and minyan at 7 p.m. Additional shiva will be held in Brooklyn on Saturday after sundown and on Sunday. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation or Temple Sinai.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, Middletown, NY.