Russell H. Baum

March 16, 1916 July 3, 2015

Russell H. BaumRussell H. Baum, born March 16, 1916, passed away peacefully July 3, 2015 in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 99 years old.

Russell was born in Oconomowoc to Lillian and Harry Baum. He graduated from Oconomowoc High School where he was an outstanding athlete, a state champion speed skater and later an alternate to the 1933 Olympic speed skating team.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in mechanical engineering. He married fellow University of Wisconsin grad Elinor (Pat)
Irish, with whom he had two children. In World War II, he served as a naval officer in the South Pacific.

The Navy sent him to MIT, where he earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and was later an assistant to Dr. Robert Goddard. He worked for the Henzey Company in Watertown until 1960, when he moved to San Francisco.

There he became a vice president of the International Division of Foremost-McKesson where he oversaw the design and building of dairies worldwide.

Russ was one of the founding members of the LaBelle Yacht Club. He had a lifelong love of sailing. He sailed his first boat on Lac LaBelle at the age of 16. A gaff-rigged scow, it was crafted by his father and the sails sewn by his mother from canvas used for hay bales. He raced with his brother, Jack, on Lac LaBelle and later he and Bob Wierdsma raced for many years in their C scow, Slipstick. He also served as a commodore of the LaBelle Yacht Club. He loved swimming, tennis and skiing, which he enjoyed until he was 82.

Russ was predeceased by his brother, Jack Baum, and sister, Nancie Williams. He is survived by his wife Carolyn D. Baum; Penny and Stephen Rice of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Russell and Viki Baum of Bellingham, Wash.; three grandchildren, Andrew Rice, Katherine Rice and Cody Baum; as well as two great-grandchildren, Tyler Hall and Riley Hall.

He, with his enthusiasm and joy of life, will be greatly missed.