Ronald John Baum, 74, passed away on Friday, May 1, 2015 in Virginia Beach, VA. Born on February 18, 1941 in Jersey City, NJ, he was the son of John and Matilda Baum. During and after high school, Ronnie worked in a local nursery where he developed his green thumb. Shortly after, Ronnie served honorably in the U.S. Navy for four years as Medical Corpsman. Following his military service, Ronnie worked as a Ships Salesman with Julious Rothschild for 20 years and then returned to his love of horticulture, operating Tiny Tree Bonsai Studio for 35 years.
As a child, Ronnie played guitar at over 500 charity shows to earn himself the title, “Charity King” in New Jersey. Ronnie’s 500 performances included Carnegie Hall, The Waldorf Astoria, The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, and many other venues. He was photographed with the likes of Les Paul, Mary Ford, and the Four Lads.
Ronnie’s enlistment into the Navy lead him to the Hampton Roads area, where he discovered his love for horseback riding. He was a member of the Tidewater Western Riders for 40 years where he participated in many riding events, parades, trail rides, and even performed as a Rodeo Clown.
Ronnie’s love of gardening eventually lead him to the art of Bonsai. Ronnie became the President of the Virginia Bonsai Society where he served for 13 years. While serving at the Botanical Gardens of Norfolk, Ronnie also instructed in the City of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, as well as many gardening clubs along the Atlantic coast. Eventually, Ronnie’s love for Bonsai lead him to Hawaii and many other destinations.
Ronnie’s true love was that of his fellow man and he demonstrated this through his 32 years of devoted recovery in AA. The number of people he touched is countless.
He is survived by his son, William J. Baum and his fiance, Michele Wiles of Virginia Beach; and a cousin Geraldine Priest of New Jersey.
The family will greet friends Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Family Choice Funerals & Cremations, 5401 Indian River Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23464. The family will also greet guests Friday, May 8, 2015, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at St. Luke Catholic Church, 2304 Salem Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23456, with a Funeral Mass to follow at 11:00 am. Interment will be held Friday, May 8, 2015, 3:00 pm at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, 5310 Milners Rd., Suffolk, VA 23434.
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