By Karen Saul
Frank A. Bauman lived an extraordinary life of service and adventure during his 94 years. Born on June 10, 1921 in Portland, Oregon, he died in his hometown on November 19, 2015, traveling far and wide between those bookends. Frank was a proud graduate of Grant High School (1939), Stanford University (A.B. 1943, economics), and Yale University Law School (1949). He studied international law at the University of London from 1951 to 1952. He returned to Portland to practice law and raise a family with his beloved wife Mildred, with whom he shared his life for 47 years, traveling the world and answering the call to service in a variety of profound contexts.
Frank was at Stanford when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Entering the U.S. Navy Japanese Language Program in 1942, he served three years as a Navy translator in the Pacific theater. His wartime service culminated in his work on the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, a small team assigned to assess the economic impact of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It was a pivotal experience in shaping Frank’s lifelong commitment to furthering international understanding, global governance, and peace. He served many years as president of the World Affairs Council of Oregon and the United Nations Association of Oregon, maintaining close ties with Japan and the Japanese language throughout his life.
In 1969, Frank volunteered in Mississippi with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law to protect voting rights. He was a community leader for the Democratic party of Oregon. He was appointed by the United Nations to serve as the UN Senior Officer to Australasia (1971-76). His duties included overseeing the establishment of Papua New Guinea as a sovereign state and the assimilation of thousands of Vietnam War refugees into Australia.
Frank Bauman’s life cannot be encapsulated in a simple obituary. His life story epitomizes why the term “Greatest Generation” was coined. He became a lifetime member of the USDCHS in 2005 and his oral history has been transcribed by the U.S. District of Oregon Historical Society and it is available to read with pleasure and reverence for a long life well lived, https://usdchs.org/oral-histories/frank-a-bauman. Frank’s wife Mildred predeceased him. He is survived by their three children, Barbara, Todd (of Portland), and Trisha, and three grandchildren.