Aug. 18, 1955 –– Feb. 9, 2018
Raymond (Ray) Sims Baum died at the age of 62 in Alexandria, Va. Raymond was born in La Grande and considered La Grande his hometown. He passed away from complications of prostate cancer at the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md. A funeral service will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center in La Grande 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.
Ray was born to Gen. David C. and Marie J. Baum. He graduated high school in 1973. He received his bachelor’s in financial and estate planning with a minor in agricultural economics from Brigham Young University in 1980. In May 1983, Ray graduated from Willamette University College of Law with his Juris Doctorate.
He entered private practice in La Grande with his older brother David 1983-2003. In 1989, Ray was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives and held the seat for District 58 1989-1997. He held numerous positions including House Majority Leader in 1995.
In September 2003, he and the family moved to Salem where he accepted a position as a commissioner of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. He worked for the PUC 2003-2011. He served as chairman 2010-2011.
He was the state chair of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service 2005-11 and served as chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Telecommunications Committee 2008-10.
In 2011 Ray became the Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Sub-Committee on Communications and Technology and Senior Policy Adviser to Congressman Greg Walden on Technology and Energy.
In April 2016, Ray accepted a job as Vice-President of Government Affairs at the National Association of Broadcasters. He remained there until January 2017 when he went back to public service in the position of staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
During his professional career, Ray received many awards and recognitions including the Edwin B. Parker Enduring Achievement Award for Telecommunications in Oregon and The Vito Stagliano Excellence in Electric Policy Award.
Ray’s two great joys in life were his family and public service. His wife was the most important person to him in his life. “She has been a great example of service to others and her charity never ends,” he said. “She has supported me in my pursuit of politics and put up with my public service impairment.”
Ray was an active member of his of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints serving a mission 1976-1978 in the Cleveland, Ohio, Mission. He held numerous callings including bishop.
Ray is survived by his wife Kristine and his six children: Rachael Haney (Matt) of Cedar Hills, Utah; Wyatt Baum (Jessica) of La Grande; Alexis Crellin (Brennan) of Mill Creek, Utah; Mary Baum of Baltimore, Md.; Andrew Baum (Rachael) of Cedar Hills; Elizabeth Roundy (Shad) Farmington, Utah. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren (Jack, Van, Elie, Jude, Parker, Frankie, Winslow, Marlowe and Ray) and his siblings David C. Baum (Anna) of La Grande and Marie J. Rampton (Wesley) of La Grande.
Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. lovelandfuneralchapel.com