James Baden, aged 72, from Columbia, Missouri, passed away at Evelyn’s House, BJC Hospice, Creve Coeur, MO., on May 4, 2018. Jim spent his last months at Hope Lodge and Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO battling acute myeloid leukemia.
Jim grew up in Richfield, MN and was one of five children. After serving four years in the air force, he earned two bachelor degrees in English Literature and English Education at the University of Minnesota.
Jim and Mary Foster (they married and divorced) moved to Wahkon, MN where they worked for Volunteers of America. Jim drove for Mille Lacs Senior Transportation and eventually became writer and editor of the Mille Lacs Messenger in Isle, MN.
Jim became involved in the Mille Lacs Community Theatre, where he acted in numerous productions. His acting career ended, he would say, when he knew he could no longer get the parts where he “got the girl” in plays.
While editor at the Mille Lacs Messenger, he was a co-writer and co-winner of the Herman Roe Editorial Award at one of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s yearly competitions. He was appreciated for the way he mentored both students and new writers, and held fun – as well as very productive – news staff meetings.
Jim moved to Columbia, Missouri, with Julie Rains and they later married. While earning a Master’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri at Columbia he worked as the night news editor for the Columbia Missourian. He was a member of Kappa Tau Alpha. He began teaching with the Adult Education and Literacy Program and was an English instructor at Moberly Community College. Jim landed his ultimate dream job at the University of Missouri, Mizzou, in Columbia, where he was an Educational Program Coordinator and Instructor at the Asian Affairs Center and International Training Institute.
As an instructor, he was known for his encouragement, creative teaching techniques, thought-provoking assignments, kindness and gentleness, commitment to students and scholars, and ability to make learning fun. He wrote several one-act plays, and two were accepted for production; at the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard, California, and the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.
Jim’s bucket list of things to do with the rest of his precious life was to write, teach, travel, and visit with the wonderful people he had met. He loved reading, baseball, walking, skipping rocks in water, sketching, Seinfeld, and M&M’s. He will be dearly missed.