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Nicholas Ryan Baeth

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On December 16, 2021 @ 12:52 pm In Obituaries | 15 Comments

Baeth web

(February 24, 1978 – December 11, 2021)

Nicholas Ryan Baeth, age 43, passed away on December 11, 2021 at home in Lancaster, PA, following a brief but courageous and fearless fight with an aggressive stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Born in Libby, MT, on February 24, 1978, Nicholas spent his childhood in the picturesque Kootenai River valley picking huckleberries, hiking, creek ice-skating, playing cards, and held a part-time summer job capturing slugs for his grandparents. At age 13, he moved with his family to Washington state, ending up in Federal Way attending Lakota Junior and then Decatur High Schools. It was there he discovered his love of music, playing trombone in the school’s concert and jazz bands, of mathematics, and of Katherine “Katie” Peloza.

At Pacific Lutheran University, he continued playing the trombone, studying mathematics, and dating Katie Peloza. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a theme. He graduated in 2000 with a double major in mathematics and computer science, but the best part of that summer was getting married to “his girl,” the Anne to his Gilbert, Katie. They were perfect for each other, and nobody in their right mind could deny it.

Nick and Katie followed their own eastward expansion to Lincoln, NE, attending the University of Nebraska- Lincoln for graduate studies (earning his PhD in 2005) and to Lee’s Summit, MO,  where Dr. Nick would work to become a full professor of mathematics at the University of Central Missouri. In 2015 their family became complete with the birth of George Henry William Baeth. The pursuit of happiness brought the family to Lancaster, PA, in 2018 when Nick accepted a tenure track position at Franklin & Marshall College. To have found a professional home with colleagues and students that shared his passion for the beauty of learning brought Nick immense joy and in his final weeks, strength.

Nick truly believed in the beauty of mathematics but was always interested in so much more… music, history, traveling the world, rock climbing, curling, cooking, disc golfing, running, biking, hiking, brewing beers, meads and ciders, and was a true coffee snob and fanatic. Most of all he loved weekends making waffles with George before heading off on some great family adventure.

When Nicholas was finally diagnosed with pancreaticobiliary as the primary cancer in early November, he fought the dragon with all his might. His determination, sense of humor, kindness, and prowess at card games stayed with him until the end.

Nick will always be remembered and missed by his wife and best friend, Katie and son George of Lancaster, PA, parents Randall and Dixie (Maiden) Baeth of Federal Way, WA, brother Joshua (Bridget) Baeth and niece Ruari of Tacoma, WA, aunts, uncles, cousins, precious friends, thousands of students and colleagues from around the world.

The ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. Nicholas Ryan Baeth, fantastic husband, father, son, brother and human passed away at age 43. He was simply 1 better.  An in-person and streaming celebration of life will be held at Franklin & Marshall College later this spring. In lieu of flowers a GoFundMe site has been created by friends and neighbors for Katie and George.  https://gofund.me/8a95209e

Condolences for the family of “Nicholas Ryan Baeth”

Condolence from Susan Robiinson on December 16th, 2021 1:51 pm

Dearest Katie and George,
This obituary is so eloquently written and describes Nick so beautifully. I knew Nick through taking flute lessons with Katie in Lee’s Summit for several years. But then, I got to know Nick even better after George was born and I would occassionally babysit George while they attended the KC Symphony. I have never known a more loving and dedicated father and husband. I can’t possibly understand why Nick was taken from all of us…..none of us can. We just have to believe that we are going to be so much better individuals because we knew him and that God will walk beside us as we try to navigate his absence. We will be strong and we will do that….because we KNOW that we have to do that to honor Nick. Losing the love of your life is beyond difficult. I know that. And I know that we will preserve and honor his memory with every fiber of our being. Nick, Katie, George…..I love you all so much.

Condolence from Eric Ondo on December 16th, 2021 3:07 pm

Nick was a wonderful man, a caring and devoted husband and father, and to me, a kind neighbor. He was the first person I met when I moved in next door to his family in Lancaster. I could not have asked for better neighbors than Nick, Katie and sweet George. His accomplishments speak for themselves, but his kindness to me, a stranger and new neighbor, and above all his obvious love for his family, which I repeatedly witnessed next door will be how I fondly remember him. I am better for the brief time that I got to know Nick. May he Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Gary Rantala on December 16th, 2021 3:10 pm

Randy and Dixie. I’m so sorry to hear this. I don’t know yet what it’s like to lose a child.
Hope you guys are doing fine and Grace and I send our condolences

Condolence from Paulette Bolla on December 16th, 2021 5:17 pm

Dear Randy and Dixie ,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

All my love.

Paulette Bolla.

Condolence from Donna and Verne Pearson on December 16th, 2021 8:41 pm

To his parents Randy and Dixie, his brother and his family and especially the loves of his life Katie and George, our sorrow, our sadness and our prayers to all of you.

I only met Nicholas once but have known his parents for many years. Such caring parents that love their two boys and their families with all their hearts.

May Nicholas rest with our Lord and watch over and guide his family in their difficult time of loss.

Condolence from Cindy, Joe, Madi & Garrett DeShazo on December 16th, 2021 9:48 pm

May the Lord give you strength during this time, Katie, George & your family. My family came to know Nick through Katie’s flute & piano lessons for both of our children, who are now young adults on their own. He was always welcoming, kind, funny & loved to talk baseball. Your Lee’s Summit friends continue to love, pray and hold you close in our hearts.

Condolence from Gary Fruits on December 17th, 2021 12:40 am

Katie and George;

We were deeply saddened to hear of Nick’s passing. He was a fine Christian gentleman. He was a wonderful son, husband, father, uncle, friend and educator.
We send our prayers to you and George and the entire family. Your Lee’s Summit Symphony sends prayers of comfort to you and George. God Bless And God Speed.

Gary and Debbi Fruits

Condolence from Matt Murphy on December 17th, 2021 2:10 pm

So terribly sorry to hear this news. Heart felt sympathies to the whole family. You are in my prayers for strength. I only met him a few times at work when he came around to see Randy and Josh. Everything in this beautiful written story seems to fit him perfectly from what I remember. Smart (obviously) and funny, caring of his family.

Condolence from Gina Hart-Kemper on December 17th, 2021 6:58 pm

Katie & George,

My heart is breaking for you both. I loved the obituary, and I’m sure Nick is smiling in heaven amongst the mathematics section of the angel choir. It’s so hard to be left behind when he is off to the promised land. We are all here for you both and for your family to rely on, to listen to you when you’re grumpy or angry or tired or whatever. There will probably be some tolerable days coming, but that may be hard to see right now. Know you are precious to us all and that we support you however you are feeling. Don’t be afraid to reach out and let someone know you need encouragement or anything! Much love is surrounding you – always!

Gina Hart-Kemper & Terry Kemper

Condolence from Julia Corbett on December 17th, 2021 7:32 pm

Dear Randy and Dixie,
I am deeply sorry for your incredible loss.
Hope you continue to see sparks of your wonderful son in your grandson.

Condolence from Aiden Kenny on December 18th, 2021 9:43 pm

I was absolutely gutted when I heard this news. I graduated from F&M in 2020 with a BA in Mathematics, so I was there when Professor Baeth started here; I was even on the student committee that helped decide that F&M should choose him as the next tenure track professor. While I never was able to take a class with him (I was more interested in applied math while he taught more theoretical courses), I had the privilege of interacting with him throughout my last two years at F&M. Most notably, since I was a math tutor, I was able to tutor many of his Calc I and II students, and every single one had nothing but great things to say about Professor Baeth. He was such a great professor, a VERY prolific researcher in his field, but most of all, he was a great person who made math enjoyable and approachable to both new and advanced students.

Before I graduated, I gave him my copy of the textbook I had to use for my Abstract Algebra class, with the intention that he would pass it along to another student. I only hope he was able to do so.

To his family and friends, I cannot believe that this has happened and I am so sorry. The world lost an amazing person in Professor Baeth.

Condolence from Matt Enlow on December 20th, 2021 12:53 pm

My deep condolences for your loss. I first met Dr. Baeth as a freshman undergraduate student at the University of Central Missouri in 2015. Through the years, he has been a teacher, a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. He taught me much about being a mathematician, and about helping others learn. I am shocked and saddened by his departure. Truly, the world has lost one of its’ best.

Condolence from David W Harman on December 23rd, 2021 10:28 pm

My son Mark and Rick were good friends in Libby, Montana. Thank you for publishing Rick’s obituary in the Western News. My heartfelt sympathy and condolences are extended to the family. Rick had a number of good friends in Libby and he was missed when he moved to Washington. It is not unexpected Rick became a professor of mathematics. Creek ice skating was mentioned. That was on Libby Creek and you should have a picture that includes Nick and his friends, Sage, Mark, Dale Nelson, and others. That photo was taken by Andy Dorrington, Sage’s dad and is of professional quality. I hope you have it. Waffles are also mentioned and that is where I come in, I think. Nick would occasionally come over on Friday after school and spend the night. Saturday morning I would make waffles and did so for years. It became a request. Mark I will be glad to come over. Could your dad make waffles. To this day some of those friends still ask about my waffles. Nick carried on the tradition. Again my sympathy is extended. David W. Harman

Condolence from Diana White on December 24th, 2021 12:49 am

I knew Nick from being graduate students together at the University of Nebraska. He was a kind and gentle soul. One thing that I recall in particular is just how deeply his love for Katie ran – he’s have moved mountains for her. I remember him as a hardworking, caring person with lots of character and integrity. My sympathies to those closest to him on your loss.

Condolence from Courtney Gibbons on January 10th, 2022 11:35 am

Dear Katie and George,

I knew Nick through the math world — he and I were both “Roger students” (at different times) and eventual collaborators! One of the best things about being Roger students is that you become part of a mathematical family full of amazing people like Nick. His generosity with his mathematical ideals, his enthusiastic pursuit of mathematical knowledge despite the bumpy path required to get there, his excellent climbing, and his solid friendship made Nick one of my favorite people to work with. (Also his good humor; I remember when we were at a conference in Nepal and Nick accidentally sat in the “lady seats” with Janet Striuli and me — he accepted the locals’ razzing with his infinite goodwill, and he got a pretty comfy upholstered seat out of the ordeal!) I will really miss talking semigroups with him, and you both are in my thoughts as you figure out this next part of your lives. You’ve got a friend in Clinton, NY if you ever need one!

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