Lenard Dale Baas
1954 – 2005
“The journey is the reward”
memoir is compiled from eulogies written by Len’s family.
remember Len as the silly younger brother who loved monsters and
scary movies and loved to scare people; who got stuck climbing
the telephone pole and had to have half his blue jeans cut off
to get down. We also remember Len as the serious one — from
a young age he built his own rockets and did a lot of reading
on starships and space exploration, which foretold his fascination
with science fiction and Star Trek.
He knew in his heart that ours could not be the only planet where
life had emerged over billions of years. Len could not imagine
with hundreds of billions more galaxies than there are stars in
our own Milky Way, that we are doomed to eternal loneliness in
the vastness of the cosmos.
Despite his love of space, Len had one true love in
his life — his wife of 27 years, Joy. They were together
from a very young age, and how Lenard treasured her! Len always
spoke of his daughter, Alison, with such love and pride. Together,
Joy and Alison brought sunshine to Len’s days. And he, in
turn, brought his unique perspective to them. Len’s world
was more focused on the internal than most of ours — he
spent a lot of time on his own, and analyzed situations that most
of us take for granted.
Len suffered a lot medically in his life, and he would always
let us know how he was feeling; he did not have any illusions
about his limitations. He couldn’t help you move a stove
or fix a car ... but there was something he could do, and it was
worth more than any help he could provide physically — he
He never judged people or held prejudices against anyone. He
was smart, caring, and direct. Even when he was at his lowest
he still had those qualities.
There were times when he wasn’t feeling well and sometimes
it was really bad, but he never gave up. When he had his good
days, there was no one like Len Baas. He was a man who was second
to none and afraid of nothing. He challenged the world (without
words sometimes) and showed it every day in his life. He was intelligent;
he knew a little something about everything, and when he had a
passion about something he went after it full force. He was excited
about finding new things to spark his interest.
And in Len’s own words:
If anyone asks how I want to be remembered, please say
the following about me:
I have no regrets.
I spent every day learning new things. No matter what,
I fought every day to be a better person and work out my health
problems. I spent my life turning people on to new things and
ideas; I hope they appreciate that.
Do not waste your life pursuing job and money, make love
and touch every day! Debate issues! Truly feel your emotions.
Discover your brain.
Tell all to be happy; as I ride on my journey, I will see
our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, which is what I
always wanted. I will finally know if there are aliens, and
all my other questions will be answered.
Now Len’s spirit is free to finally understand the universe
in its wholeness and beauty, to learn what existence really is
and, especially important to Len -- what it all means. Even more
than his search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Len’s
mission was his search for meaning. We can all rest assured that
Len’s spirit has found the way at last.