Norman Bauman, 87, of Hingham, MA, formerly of Tomkins Cove, NY and Nanuet, NY, died peacefully on Thursday, 23 April 2020 after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.
Norman was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Jean Krause Bauman (2004) and is survived by his three children Anne Bauman Wightman, Sydney David Bauman, and Ellen Bauman Metzger and by six grandchildren: Evelyn Wightman, Jesse Metzger, Isabelle Bauman, Leslie Wightman, Leah Metzger, and David Bauman.
Born 20 August 1932 in Brooklyn, NY to Morris David Bauman and Raie Sones Bauman, he attended Ethical Culture Society School and Midwood High School, and was graduated from Harvard University in 1953 and New York University Medical School in 1957.
Norman was first and foremost a scientist, but also a lover of math, medicine, and music. He worked as a research biochemist and rheumatologist for many years and after retirement volunteered his time helping with the math and science programs in neighboring high schools. In addition to working at Lederle Laboratories as a senior scientist and then a computer programmer, he practiced rheumatology once a week for over 25 years at Bellevue Hospital where he treated mostly low-income patients with arthritis. His patients often needed a sympathetic listener as much as they needed medical treatment, and Norman was able to provide both.
Norman’s love of science and math led him to the field of computers, which he learned on his own. He became such an expert that during his career in pharmaceutical research, he often provided support to other scientists. After roughly 20 years of working in the front lines of laboratory research, he switched careers to identifying potential new drugs through computer programming, with an emphasis on high multi-dimensional vector analysis.
Although he grew up in Brooklyn playing chess with old men on the boards provided in parks, Norman lived his adult life in the suburbs, where he became a self-taught and very competent gardener, small appliance repairman, car mechanic, home renovator, and more. He had a keen sense of logic and strong belief that if he applied it to the task at hand along with proper resources (a user’s manual reader in the extreme), he should be able to do pretty much anything.
Norman was a frequent attender at the First Unitarian Society of Rockland County (now the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockland) for many years and particularly enjoyed getting together with friends to have dinner, attend plays, or discuss science and ethics.
Classical music was a thread running through Norman’s life and he would often sing along with and even make up words to melodies, whether they originally had words or not. After retiring, he returned to the piano, taking lessons and practicing frequently. He was particularly fond of the Two- and Three-Part Inventions by J. S. Bach as well as the Preludes and Fugues and had a unique ability to count his own errors as he was playing. Along with music, he enjoyed, crossword puzzles, in particular cryptic crossword puzzles, math puzzles and problems, and just about anything that involved thinking. He enjoyed square dancing and walks, usually around one of the lakes in Rockland County. He liked to maintain a backyard bird feeder and enjoyed learning the names of and observing the habits of the birds that visited.
Norman was a rare book enthusiast, having inherited an impressive collection — a collection that included a Doves Bible and a Kelmscott Chaucer — from his own father who had purchased them at auction in NYC. Norman particularly admired the high quality workmanship of these volumes, reveling in the exquisite detail of woodcuts and illustrations as much or more than the printing and binding.
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