Deceased July 3, 2020

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In Memory

Dick Baum, a magna cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa member of our class, died July 3, 2020. He was born in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Detroit at age 7. We first met in the sixth grade and were fraternity (Kappa Theta) brothers at Amherst. His post-college education included Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, pediatric residency in San Francisco and a research fellowship at Harvard, where he graduated in the first class of specially trained, board-certified neonatologists in the country. In between, he served as a U.S. Air Force captain in Japan. It was in Boston that he met and, in 1968, married his beloved Marcia—a union that ended only with her death in 2011. 

His medical career began at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he created a neonatal ICU. My wife and I were visiting them in 1972 when they came home from the hospital with the elder of their two daughters. They later moved to Austin, Texas, where Dick served as the medical director of the NICU at St. David’s Hospital and where we attended the wedding of that very same daughter.

After an illustrious career, Dick settled with Marcia in Denver, where he developed an interest in maps to complement his devotion to art, music and restaurants. There we also saw them.

As a Renaissance man, Dick was truly an Amherst product—broadly knowledgeable, yet insatiably inquisitive. An ardent raconteur, he loved nothing better than to walk the streets of his Cherry Creek district, where he reigned as “unofficial mayor” and delighted in conversing with his neighbors.

Dick is survived by his sister Jane; two daughters, Becky, a nursing supervisor, and Jessica, an artist and rescue dog helper; and two grandchildren, Caleb and Hannah. As a BFF, he leaves me to grieve with them. 

Jon Desenberg ’55