William J. "Lefty" Baumiller, an affable bartender who had a 50-year career at area restaurants and clubs, died of heart failure Sunday at the Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Timonium resident was 77.
Mr. Baumiller was born and raised in Upper Darby, Pa., and moved to Baltimore in 1940. He got the nickname "Lefty" while pitching during the 1940s for a farm team of the old Philadelphia Athletics. He played baseball in Japan while serving with the Army's special services from 1945 to 1949.
Mr. Baumiller returned to Baltimore in 1949 and began tending bar at the old Thompson's Sea Girt House on York Road. In subsequent years, he worked at such establishments as the Eager House, Pellington's Iron Horse Restaurant, Tail of the Fox, Danny's and the Green Spring Inn.
From 1987 to 1995, he was a bartender at the Inverness Country Club in Florida. He worked at the Maryland Country Club for five years until retiring in 2000 after injuring his spinal cord in a fall.
"He loved people, and he loved telling jokes," said his wife of 40 years, the former Doris Boone. "He especially enjoyed working at the Green Spring Inn because they featured big bands and dancing, and he'd often join in with his kazoo."
Mr. Baumiller was a parishioner of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Texas, Baltimore County.
A memorial gathering will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Lemmon Funeral Home, 10 W. Padonia Road in Timonium.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Kimberly McLean of Hampstead; a stepson, Richard Strobel of Columbia, S.C.; two stepdaughters, Gerri Strobel of Red Lion, Pa., and Kristine Little of Lutherville; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.