James Henry Baden, 72, died peacefully on Friday, May 4, 2018, at Evelyn’s Hospice/Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis with his wife, Julie Rains, at his side. He died after a strong two-year fight with acute myeloid leukemia.
A service was held in honor of his life on May 10 at Unity Church.
James, originally from Minneapolis, returned home after serving four years in the Air Force and completed two degrees at the University of Minnesota.
He was a writer and editor of the Mille Lacs Messenger newspaper. James lived in Isle, Minnesota, during his many years at the paper and became involved in the community. He was involved with the Mille Lacs community theatre as an actor in many productions. His acting career ended, he would say, when he knew he “could no longer get the girl.”
He continued to write throughout his life and had plays performed by theater companies.
In 2001, James moved to Columbia and worked as a night editor at the Columbia Missourian while earning his master’s degree in journalism.
After completing his master’s degree, James began teaching with the Adult Education and Literacy Program at Douglass High School, and he was an English instructor at Moberly Area Community College.
James landed his dream job at the Asian Affairs Center at the University of Missouri as an Educational Program Coordinator and Instructor. As a teacher he was known for his encouragement, creative teaching techniques, thought-provoking assignments, kindness and gentleness, commitment to students and ability to make learning fun.