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Steven David Baum

1951 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Steven David Baum Obituary
November 5, 1951 - February 7, 2018 Steven Baum loved reading obituaries. He requested that in his, there be no mention of a courageous battle with cancer. He said, "Say that I was pissed." Clearly, he always had a way with words. An abundantly gifted writer, Steven scripted his magic into essays about parenting in his daughters' preschool newsletters and TV episodes about the Wild West. He leaves behind a rich legacy of told and untold stories, screenplays that distill human experience and contain perfect metaphors. He taught us to read between the lines and color outside of them. He curated our musical and literary libraries, and led us to favorite passages and special piano solos. He gave us lifetimes of artistic guidance, unconditional love, and unrelenting Scrabble. So unrelenting, in fact, that we often refused to play with him. But Steven put his own competitiveness aside to cultivate AYSO soccer teams with incredible spirit and community for 17 years (maybe 16, but he always liked to round up). He tried to establish a relationship with each kid on the team to make sure they had fun, a lesson he learned from his high school track coach, Richard Kampmann. He was a high school cross country champion, and was fiercely admired by his track team. Out of the hundreds of thousands of miles he ran, the most important was 32 years ago (rounding up), when he met his wife, Clare, just north of the Venice Pier. They ran and walked and hiked mountains and forged rivers in their favorite spot, Mammoth Lakes, which will be his final resting place. He loved his two daughters, Alana and Mira, from the depths of his soul, and though he was a harsh editor, he was an unbounding cheerleader. He had no room for small talk, and preferred diving deep into connections, and touching the souls of everyone he met, from memories with childhood friends to chance encounters with strangers. Born in Westwood in 1951 to Nelda and Lester Baum, he was baby brother to Wendy and Rick, with whom his soul now rests. His family and dear friends will miss him every day. Especially at the annual Moloshco Christmas Eve, in Mammoth every summer, and as we brave the crossword puzzle without him each morning. Once, listening to Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" on the radio, he said that he could just fly away to that music. At 11 a.m. on February 7th, surrounded by his loving family, our lark ascended. Donations in his memory can be made to the Cancer Support Community LA and AYSO West LA Region 70 soccer.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 10, 2018
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