James Roger Baum
James Roger Baum passed away July 12, 2012, after almost three years living with pancreatic cancer. He was born in 1930 in Chicago, Ill., to parents Cecil and Maurice Baum.
Jim grew up in Kent, Ohio, where his father was a professor of philosophy at Kent State University. He attended Cornell University on a Navy ROTC Scholarship, graduating in 1952 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
After a tour in the Navy and employment as an engineer at Goodyear Aircraft in Akron, Ohio, Jim and his family moved west to Scottsdale in 1957, where he began work as a senior engineer with Motorola's Military Electronics Division. For the next 17 years, Jim moved up in Motorola as the company grew, while earning a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA from Arizona State University.
In 1975, Jim transferred to Motorola's Automotive Products Division in Schaumberg, Ill. Jim returned back to Scottsdale and to Motorola's Government Electronics Group in 1985 with his wife Myra, assuming a position as a division manager. He was named a vice president and assistant general manager in 1987. In 1995, after 38 years with the company, Jim retired from Motorola.
Jim embraced all aspects of life, always open to trying something new, and much of his time was spent adventuring. He loved to travel, and with his wife and sometimes with his children, was fortunate to have visited destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. From tours to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, to China's Great Wall and the Beijing Olympics, Jim was interested in seeing as much of the world as he could.
His great love of the outdoors took him and the family on innumerable camping, hiking, canoeing and kayaking trips, as well as to the family cabin near Payson, one of his favorite places. He was an avid bicyclist and began cycling to work on a regular basis long before it was considered "in."
Jim was a great believer in do-it-yourself, and the family's first cabin as well as various home additions and remodeling were examples of this. Plumbing and electrical work, home repairs of all types, vehicle upkeep, Jaguar engine rebuilds – these all fell under Jim's DIY philosophy, and there were very few projects that he wouldn't tackle.
Jim was also an avid reader and a great lover of theater and music. His musical tastes were eclectic, ranging from traditional bluegrass, to pipes and drums, to classical and opera. He was passionate about supporting the arts and especially cherished his involvement as a board member and patron of the Arizona Opera. He believed in giving to many charities and was a member of the Valley of the Sun United Way Tocqueville Society. He also was an active member of the Jaguar Club of Central Arizona.