• Thursday, June 20, 2024

In Memoriam

In memory of Phillip Allen Paumann




Long-time RPPTL Executive Council member and former Elder Law Section Chair, Phillip A. Baumann of Tampa, passed away peacefully at his home after a month-long battle with leukemia on August 28, 2023, at 74 years of age. Phil was born on February 17, 1949, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and, after graduating from high school, proudly served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant.  After an honorable discharge from the service, Phil attended the University of Wisconsin on the G.I. Bill, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and The George Washington University College of Law in Washington, D.C., where he earned his law degree.  Upon graduating from law school, Phil accepted a position as an associate attorney with the Shackleford Farrior law firm in Tampa, and he spent his next 45 years as a highly respected estate planning, probate and trust & estate litigation attorney in the Tampa Bay area, culminating as a Principal of BaumannKangas Estate Law.


In addition to his service to and leadership positions with The Florida Bar’s RPPTL Section, which included active involvement with the RPPTL Section’s Probate Law & Procedure, Probate & Trust Litigation and Law School Liaison Committees; Phil was instrumental in the organization of the Elder Law Section and served as one of its early Chairs, was a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, a Past-President of the Tampa Bay Estate Planning Council and a supporter of Bay Area Legal Services, through which he handled numerous pro bono matters over the years.


Phil was particularly interested in and involved with local and statewide initiatives for diversity, inclusion and mentorship because he truly believed in the importance of those objectives. Thus, he served on the RPPTL Section’s Membership and Inclusion Standing Committee for many years and dedicated countless hours to the development of law students and young lawyers, while promoting the goals of diversity and inclusivity. His dedication to those laudable goals was celebrated by the RPPTL Section when he was recently recognized as the second recipient of The Lynwood F. Arnold, Jr., Memorial Award. Although he remained humble about his numerous achievements, Phil was especially proud of that recognition by his fellow lawyers.

In addition to his extensive service to our profession, Phil was equally dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate than us, including decades-long service on the Board of Directors for and as President of the Judeo Christian Health Clinic, which provides free, quality, timely and compassionate health care to medically indigent residents of the Tampa Bay area who have no other resources for their health care needs.  Of Phil, Kelly Bell, the Executive Director of the Judeo Christian Health Clinic, recalled “Phil had a way of quickly analyzing and cutting right to the heart of a problem. His pragmatic approach and compassionate nature allowed him to offer sensible solutions, based on knowledge, history and experience.  He made an impact at the Clinic that was immeasurable.  His presence and talents will be missed immensely.” 


Phil also served for years on the Board of Directors at the MacDonald Training Center, which educates, empowers, elevates, employs and connects people with disabilities to the Tampa Bay community, as well as Secretary of the affiliated MacDonald Training Center Foundation.  When asked to share her thoughts of Phil, the CEO of MacDonald’s Training Center, Karenne Levy, stated “With the loss of Phil Baumann, MTC lost a great leader and true champion for underserved people. Phil came to MTC in the early 1980’s and served with dedication and commitment. With a quiet dignity, Phil shared his knowledge, financial acumen and expertise, helping our mission and our families through the years.  The last time I saw Phil was when he came to the graduation ceremony for MTC’s eMerge Career Education program students in January. He was upbeat, happy, all smiles, congratulating students, teachers, and families. If any of us knew this would be the last time we would see him, we would have not have let him walk out the door. He left us too soon.” 


Ms. Levy also shared part of an email that Phil had recently sent to her about the program which evidences his heart for “Service to Mankind” (the Sertoma Club theme).  Phil wrote “My introduction to MacDonald Training Center was as a member of The Sertoma Club of Tampa in the early 1980s.  Back then, that service club was a sponsor of the MTC Sertoma Sheltered Workshop.  Through the Club, I became Chair of the MTC Workshop Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of MTC.  Back then, we all thought that MTC, with our support, was giving disabled persons all of the training and employment that they needed to work at the peak of their abilities, you know, given that they were not all that capable, given, you know, their disabilities. I was pretty proud of our support of the work so helpful to our disabled fellow citizens.  They lived on the MTC campus in dorms or, for some, in on-campus group homes.  They had jobs right there at the center sheltered workshop, unless they could bag groceries.  Then, they could work at Publix. While most of the rest of the world could have rolled along forever with the disabled prospering as they were in 1980, MTC did not.  Gone are the dormitories.  Gone are the on-campus group homes.  Gone is the sheltered workshop. Today, MTC clients are training on and working real-world jobs, as responsible members of an assembly line, as support persons at local hospitals, inventing more efficient ways to package items for shipment, even becoming Microsoft computer technicians and artists.  Who would have had the foresight to know this would be possible?  Who could have seen how far disabled clients could go?  How much they could succeed?  MTC, that’s who. And the Center’s foresight and contributions, will continue into the future. That’s why, in my mind, MTC exists.  That’s why I am a part, small as my part is, of MTC.”

As an IFR-rated private and commercial pilot, Phil shared his love of flying with others by serving as a volunteer pilot for the Young Eagles, which provides free introductory flight for youth interested in aviation, and as a counselor to Boy Scouts seeking to earn the aviation merit badge. He regularly enjoyed flying with Nancy and their dog, London, and was also a member of the Ye Mystic AirKrewe social and flying club, which participated in air formation flyovers during Tampa’s annual Gasparilla parades.


Phil lived a rich and rewarding life that was full of adventure, and loved traveling the world with family and friends, often by air in their beloved Mooney aircraft, and, when he arrived at some of those destinations, he also enjoyed exploring the world’s seas as a certified scuba diver.  He will, of course, be deeply missed by all who knew him. 


In recalling Phil, Michael Kangas, his last law partner, noted “The man who gave me a chance as a lawyer, who transitioned from boss to law partner, and who along the way became a good friend, confidant, and my greatest mentor, I am eternally grateful for having had the opportunity to know you and today I am certainly a better man and lawyer because of it. Over the countless hours that you and I discussed our clients’ cases, the law, or just life in general, you demonstrated to me that your commitment to your profession, our firm, and our team, was only surpassed by that for your love of flying, and most importantly, your amazing family. You were a great man who leaves a lasting impact on so many. I am honored to have known you, and I will take with me the many lessons learned from you. I hope to continue to make you proud, as your legacy will certainly live on through us. Rest easy, my friend. Blue skies and tailwinds to you. I will miss you, sir.”


The last of Phil’s long line of loyal associates, Eryn Riconda, movingly posted “The realization that I will never again be able to call you for advice or review your thoughtfully inquisitive comments on another draft estate plan is a weight that is difficult to bear. Your zest for life and dedication to work were nothing short of inspiring. I particularly admired your humility and "go with the flow" mentality. No matter the challenges that arose, you maintained an uncanny calmness that had a reassuring effect on everyone around you. In moments when I was overwhelmed by the minutiae, you always offered a panoramic perspective that provided me with clarity, comfort, and confidence. From the moment you took a chance on me fresh out of law school, I have been profoundly grateful for your unwavering belief in my potential. Your guidance, mentorship, and the wisdom you shared have been transformative. The lessons you imparted, often through your captivating stories, will forever be etched in my memory. I even kept a running list of things I’ve learned in a document I fondly titled "PAB's Things to Remember." These snippets of wisdom, like "status quo is the way to go . . . except when it’s not," have become touchstones that continue to guide me.  Your attention to detail, even in the grammatical nuances of replacing "which" with "that," your obsession with checking the pagination for widows and orphans, or your insistence on precise legal terminology, is a testament to your meticulous nature. Yet, your legacy transcends these particulars. You've equipped me with the tools and knowledge I need to one day become a great attorney, just as you were. Your imprint will be found not only in the documents we prepare but also in the way we approach our work—thoughtful and thorough. If I could express one selfish desire, it would be for more time to engage in our thought-provoking conversations. You often reminded me that mortality is a part of life, and our job is to assist our clients in preparing for the inevitable. Your 40+ years of legal practice may have spanned longer than my lifetime, but your generosity in sharing your knowledge over the past five years has been an invaluable gift.  Thank you for the opportunities you gave me, the lessons you taught me, and the inspiration you provided. Though you've taken your flight to realms unknown, your spirit will forever be present in the work we do and the lives we touch. Fly high, Phil.”


Phil’s beloved niece, Jessica Fette, stated “My uncle Phil is the reason I’m an attorney. He inspired my career decision and was so helpful to me in accomplishing my goal. I lived with Phil and Nancy for a summer when I was in law school and we had so many adventures. I’m so proud of who he was and who he helped me to be.”


His former law partner and friend, John Neukamm, wrote “RIP, Phil! You were a wonderful law partner for nearly 20 years and a dear friend for more than 30 years. I will miss you, your huge smile and your winning personality.  However, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. Now there is in store for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you. 2 Timothy 4:7-8.  Soar high, my friend…”


His gregarious, friendly and joyful nature led to Phil having a significant impact on even the most casual acquaintances.  One such person, Shannon Nowitzke-Dunlap, explained “I only met him face to face twice, but he will forever be my favorite betting, cheesy poof opera singing, spider shooting buddy. Smart as hell, and goofy too. Someone to model yourself after. All humans should be more like Phil. I will miss him terribly and the world is a little dimmer without his light. Thank you for all your wisdom, words of support and encouragement, and just being you. My only regret is not spending more time with you, but I will forever cherish the time we had. Fly high, Phillip A Baumann, I'll see you soon.”


Phil had countless friends, both professional and social, but he was most especially proud of his amazing family.  He is survived by his wife of 33 years, former Florida Land Title Association President, Nancy Baumann (so he had both the “dirt” and “death” sides of the RPPTL Section well covered); his son, Brian Baumann and his wife, Kasia and their two children, Adam and Ari, of Boston, his daughter, Taylor Baumann Clifton and her husband, James and their two children, Addison and Kinsley, of Tampa, his son, Shreve McNally and his wife, Amanda and their two children, Anna and Sophia, of Alexandria, Virginia.  The family has requested that, if you wish to honor Phil and his legacy, please consider making a donation to the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic, MacDonald Training Center, Inc., or EAA Young Eagles.


Lynwood F. Arnold, Jr.


Lynwood F. Arnold, Jr., 72, did not want to live forever, but he did want to live long enough to create more memories and witness more family milestones. Our Lord had other plans. On August 19, 2020, Lynwood passed unexpectedly from complications relating to his recent cancer diagnosis.

Lynwood is survived by his wife, Laura Pileggi Arnold; daughters, Mia Arnold of Washington, DC, and Amanda Arnold Sansone of Tampa; grandchildren, Charlie and Adelaide Sansone of Tampa; sister, Pamela Milhan (Randy) of Seminole; aunt, Nancy Wright of Deltona; mother-in-law, Rosetta Pileggi of Tallahassee; brother-in-law, David Pileggi (Carol) of Jerusalem, Israel; brother-in-law, Richard Pileggi (Tess) of Tallahassee; and sister-in-law, Michelle Roberts (Chris) of Trail, Missouri. He was also beloved by many nieces, nephews, cousins, close family friends, and his work family.

Lynwood was born in Jacksonville, Florida, April 20, 1948, to Lynwood F. Arnold Sr. and Elsie Ferguson Arnold. He was very proud to be a fifth generation Floridian. Lynwood was a 1965 graduate of Landon High School. Following in his father's footsteps, he was a 1969 graduate of Stetson University. When not studying, he honed his party planning craft with his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers. One of his favorite parties included a staircase waterfall that spilled into a pool filled with goldfish. The poor goldfish did not fare well that evening.

Rather than continue party planning pursuits, Lynwood enrolled in law school first at the University of Florida then at Florida State University. Lynwood, who was board-certified, practiced real estate and probate litigation in Tampa and Tallahassee. He helped form the Bay Area Real Estate Council and was its first president. In addition to the Leon and Hillsborough County Bar Associations, Lynwood dedicated significant time to The Florida Bar's Real Property Probation and Trust Law section and served on its Executive Council. Over the years, he chaired too many committees to list. His devotion to pro bono work was just as steadfast and only matched by his devotion to mentoring young lawyers, many of whom reached out to him after his diagnosis.

Lynwood's professional pursuits paled in his efforts to live his life to the fullest and learn as much as possible. Daily, he read at least the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Tallahassee Democrat, and the Tampa Bay Times. He bombarded his wife and daughters with an abundance of "must read" articles -- so many that they readily admit to only reading a fraction.

Lynwood, the son of a member of the Florida Legislature, was a true political junkie. He called Election Day his Super Bowl. Election Day was such an important day to him that his daughters knew to call to wish him a happy holiday and gauge his level of excitement or frustration.

Lynwood liked to save the best for last and his best was his time with his family and friends. Lynwood and Laura married in Key West 25 years ago, and their marriage was filled with spontaneity, love, and compassion. He and Laura created beautiful memories with their shared love of travel, hosting large family gatherings, and their Christian faith.

Lynwood was a cradle to grave Episcopalian. After moving to Tallahassee, he and Laura joined St. John's Episcopal Church. He served on the vestry and many committees. He was dedicated to the church's ministry in Cuba. As a member of the Tower Bellringers Guild, Lynwood rang the church's fourteen tower bells as others had since 1915.

Lynwood cherished his relationships with his two daughters, Amanda and Mia. Born nineteen years apart, both daughters had the benefit of his undivided attention during their formative years. He succeeded in teaching them to be strong, independent, and resilient. Amanda is a federal judge in Tampa and Mia is employed by the United Nations Foundation. Talking about his girls put a twinkle in his eye and a beaming smile across his face. Their gift to him will be continuing his genealogy research (his obsession perhaps at least partly because it involved trips to Key West).

His two grandchildren boast he had a perfect Donald Duck impression and gave the best bear hugs. What they will not tell you is he also was the manners police and no meal was complete without at least one gentle manners reminder. His full white beard in recent years led his granddaughter to say he may be Santa Claus. He loved adventures with his grandchildren and recently took them hiking and kayaking.

Lynwood loved music and especially loved how lyrics could help you cope with your emotions. In the words of Phil Lesh from Box of Rain, one of Lynwood's favorite songs and especially appropriate in light of his recent diagnosis, "Such a long long time to be gone and a short time to be there." We know we were lucky to have him for 72 years, but we wish we had him longer.

In lieu of flowers, Lynwood would rather you hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love them. If you insist on making a donation in his honor, three charities closest to his heart are Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee (www.legalaidtallahassee.org), Bay Area Legal Services (www.bals.org), and Cuban missions supported by St. John's Episcopal Church (www.saint-john.org).