UPPER EAST SIDE — Their love story started and ended the same way — by hailing a cab.
It was 37 years ago that Denise Baum and Rubin Baum first laid eyes on each other as they tried to flag down the same taxi. They ended up sharing the ride, fell in love, and got married.
On Saturday night another cab hail put a tragic end to their storybook romance.
Rubin Baum, 80, was struck and killed by a car at Park Avenue and East 59th Street as the couple tried to find a cab on their way home from a jazz concert.
His bereaved wife, who was limping and had a purple bruise in the center of her forehead Monday, said her husband lost his life saving her from being struck by the cab.
"My husband saved my life — he threw me out of the way," Denise Baum, 62, said as tears choked her voice. "He was pinned under the car. He was face down. I wanted to lift the car up to save him, but I couldn't. I was screaming, 'Help me, help me.' It seemed like an eternity."
The driver of the vehicle has not been charged and the NYPD did not suspect criminality.
A funeral service is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Riverside Memorial Chapel at 180 W. 76th St. near Amsterdam Avenue, Baum said.
In another sad twist, Ruby Baum's father, Orthodox rabbi Shepard Baum, was hit and killed by a car in the city in 1977.
Denise Baum said she was just 24 years old when she met her "beloved" husband, who as known as "Ruby." He volunteered for military service during the Korean War, where he served as a medic and was awarded two Purple Hearts, she said.
"He had more humility than any other person in the world," Denise Baum said. "He was a humble man that did a great service for his country. He was the kindest, gentlest man that God put on this earth.
"He was decent, he was wonderful," she added. "He was kind to the world."