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Baumgarten, Ken

d. December 6, 2013

Kenneth Robert Baumgarten, age 55, of Petersburg, passed away on Friday, December 6, 2013 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; a daughter, Nicole, age 18; a son, Kyle, age 18; mother, Lorraine; and two uncles, Herb (wife, Jane) Baumgarten, of Coos Bay, Ore., and Dan (Shirley) Buckley, Clarksville, Mo. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Baumgarten.

Ken served as State’s Attorney for Menard County for 15 years. He previously served as Legal Counsel to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. From 1985 to 1993, he worked for the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor office, where he was the lead prosecutor for a special drug unit. From 1993 through 1996, he served as Assistant State’s Attorney in Sangamon County.

Baumgarten co-authored a number of bills, which became state law. These included the Illinois Asset Forfeiture law which is used throughout Illinois to strip illegally earned money and property purchased with drug money from drug dealers. As State’s Attorney for Menard County, Baumgarten wrote a law to shield counties from inmate medical expenses.

Baumgarten received his law degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law. He was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the National College of District Attorneys. He was currently serving on a special committee of felony DUI prosecutors and law enforcement officers to develop a training protocol for statewide use.

Ken was a small plane pilot and enjoyed flying on a regular basis. He was an active member and past-president of the Athens Lions Club. He was an active member of the Petersburg Kiwanis.

A memorial gathering, where family will receive friends, will be held from 5:00 until 7:00 PM on Friday, December 13, 2013 at the Athens Christian Church in Athens.

Memorial services will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the Athens Christian Church in Athens, Illinois. Memorials can be made to the college fund for the Baumgarten children.


  1. Oh my God Susan I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say except my thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys. I wish that were enough to help you heal, but I will be praying for you in the days to come. I’m so, so sorry. Terry

  2. Susan, words cannot express my shock at learning of Ken’s passing. I knew Ken from the Springfield Flying Club and again in the Flying 20’s. You and the boys will be in my prayers, be strong, God will get you through this. Dennis

  3. Susan, Jack and I are so very sorry. There are no words that can cover the magnitude of the loss of a loved one. Our prayers go out to you, Nicole and Kyle and please know that we are only up the road a ways and are available to give a helping hand to you and the kids whenever. With sympathy and prayers. Jack and Brenda Blasko

  4. I wish I had the words to give you, Nicole and Kyle the comfort and peace that you so very much need. Ken was such a kind, respectful and ethical man. When I was working with you and Ken on his campaign years ago, I grew to have such admiration and affection for both of you. He will be sorely missed.

  5. Susan, Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time. Love and prayers, Betty

  6. Susan, Nicole and Kyle, thoughts and prayers are with you. Lean on your friends and your faith. Your friends and our Lord will always be there for you. I am so very sorry for your loss, it will be felt by many. Ken made a difference in so many life’s. Words feel hollow during times like this but the sentiments are real. Reach out and accept the comfort of the loved ones who surround you now. Vicky (Gwen’s sister)

  7. Susan, Nicole, and Kyle Please accept my deepest and sincere condolences on Ken’s unexpected passing. It was an honor and privilege to have served with Ken as an Athens Lions Club officer and member. He was a true asset to our club and his community. He always was willing to serve in anyway he could to make his community a better place to live. He accomplished that goal. His service and friendship will be deeply missed. Sharon and I will be praying for all of you. Remember and cherish always the great times you shared together. Don and Sharon Porter

  8. Susan ( and Kyle and Nicole) I am so, so sorry. I have only great memories of the times you, ken, john and I spent together. Since that time, Ken never failed to greet me with a smile and keep me updated on the family when I travelled to Menard court or saw him at lawyer functions. I will be out of town for the services and I am sad that I can not give you a deep hug this weekend. hopefully soon. you are in my thoughts and prayers my friend. Amy Schmidt

  9. Susan and Family As you know, Ken spoke to the Sangamon County GOP Network in October at the Sangamo Club. Great speech wonderful attorney and he would have been an outstanding Judge for Menard County. May God Bless you in this terrible time our thoughts and prayers are with you. My God Have Mercy On His Soul and bring him to the eternal light.

  10. We are so sorry for your loss. Beecher has many fond memories of Kenny! He came to Beecher’s Mom’s graveside service at Camp Butler 2 years ago & I’m so glad we got to see him then. I’m not sure if we’ll make it to the funeral as we live in Terre Haute, IN now & are suppose to have a snow storm tonight. If Beecher doesn’t make it to the funeral, please know that our thoughts & prayers are with you & all your family. May you feel God’s loving arms around you comforting you & giving you peace at this difficult time.

    Beecher, Josena, Christian, & Jasmine Wilhelm

  11. Susan and family, I am so sorry to hear about the death of dear Ken. I was out of town all last week and was catching up on my newspapers and saw it, I was so shocked, and heartbroken. Ken was always so cordial to me in the many years I worked opposite him in Court. I cannot express to you the sorrow I feel for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers go out to you now, and in the Christmas season.

    Sari Fiscus

  12. God bless you as you grieve this significant loss. Peace be to the family, friends and colleagues of Ken. I am praying for you and hopeful that your holidays will be filled with the peace that only Jesus can bring.

  13. I wanted to share with Ken’s family that even as a young man, when I was his classmate and fellow member of the LLCC Model United Nations program, Ken was honorable, kind, intelligent and a great role model for all the other young people who were lucky enough to know him at that time. My path took me away from Springfield many years ago and it is only by chance that I learned of his passing while home for the holidays. I wish you comfort in knowing that he is remembered fondly by many more people than you probably know. My condolences.

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