Doris (Sparks) Baumann



Doris passed away peacefully in her home Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

She was 84. Her memorial service will be held in Building A of the Mariposa Fairgrounds on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Those who knew and loved Doris are welcome to attend.

Doris was born in Greensburg, Ind., the youngest of eight children. She graduated high school at 16 years of age. Her first job, while also attending business college, was as a legal secretary, and so began what was to become a long successful career in the legal justice system.

In 1954, Doris married the love of her life, Karl Baumann, in a friend’s beautiful dahlia garden. Four years and two babies later, the young family moved to Southern California where Karl worked as a house painter, Knudsen milkman and car salesman. However, what he really wanted to do was sell and develop real estate.

By 1964 their fifth child was born and Karl had begun his legacy of developing real estate. All the while Doris continued working as a legal secretary. In 1976 she was honored as “Legal Secretary of the Year” for all of San Bernardino County.

In 1979 Karl and Doris partnered with three other businessmen/investors to purchase the 880-acre Bear Creek Ranch, in Catheys Valley, Calif. In 1983 they, new empty nesters, moved from Southern California to live on the ranch. The green rolling hills that turned golden suede in summer reminded Karl of the Ponderosa on “Bonanza”. Doris loved horses, and thought she might retire from working for a while.

After years of dedication and planning they bought out their partners, and then successfully developed Bear Creek Ranch into the gated community of Whispering Oaks, where over 40 families now enjoy the benefits of country living around a private lake.

Doris didn’t stay retired for more than a year. Instead she continued her legal career in Merced, proudly working in the law offices of Canelo, Hansen, Wilson and Wallace. She eventually was teamed with Shelly Seymour who is currently a Superior Court Justice.

Doris had a very fulfilling professional and family life. She is survived by five children: Karla, Gregg, Brett, Kelly and Kim. All are happily married: Karla and Alan Berg are from Mariposa, Calif.; Gregg and Cindy Baumann, Catheys Valley, Calif.; Brett and Wendy Baumann, Catheys Valley, Calif.; Kelly and Ron Martin, Peoria, Ariz.; and Kim and Mark Childers, Emeryville, Calif.

Doris also leaves behind 11 grandchildren: Kori Smith, Trisha Gregory, Jillian Schipper, Nicholas Moore; Landon, Jarrod, Travis, Rebecca, Nolan, Marlyse and Spencer Baumann; as well as six great-grandchildren: Allex Smith, Aiden and Eli Ramirez, Matthew Martin and Zane and Zander Baumann.

We are so grateful Doris married Karl and together they taught us how to love life.

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