Persis Eugenia Baum
Persis E. Baum passed away gently on Monday, March 22, 2010, in Santa Barbara at age 95 to be with her husband on his birthday. Persis was born in Holtville, California, to homesteading parents in the Imperial Valley. She graduated valedictorian of Inglewood High School and quickly completed a bachelors and masters in mathematics at UCLA. She studied toward a doctorate in astronomy at UC Berkeley where she met her beloved husband Custer Charles Baum with whom she worked at Lick Observatory in 1939. Custer completed his doctorate and the couple was wed in the Newman Chapel near UCLA in 1940.
Following wartime in Washington, D.C. and the start of a family, the couple moved to Santa Barbara in 1950 and Persis became active in the parish Altar Guild at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Montecito, an involvement that was to last more than 30 years. A convert in her faith, Persis was especially devout. Her family remembers her for her warm, kind heart, accepting non-judgmental compassion, appreciation of humor, and her gift for quick insightful intelligence.
Persis is preceded in death by her husband Custer and twin brother Clyde Fell. Persis is survived by her five children, Eugene Baum (Sandra), Peter Baum, Francis Baum (Eileen), Richard Baum, Mary Baum (Eric Cantlay), also by her four grandchildren Katrina Baum (Paul Stone), Maryann Baum (Carlos Maury), Stephanie (Baum) Gonzalez (Saul), Kevin Baum, and her great-grandchildren Leanne Gonzalez and Sophia Stone.
The family of Persis wish to thank the staff of Mission Terrace Convalescent Hospital, at which Persis resided since 2007, for their compassionate loving care. Persis may be remembered by donations to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, 300 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. A commemorative mass will be held Wednesday, March 31st at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 1300 E. Valley Road, Montecito, followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery at 11:15 am.