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    Remembering Marcia Iris Baum, LCSW, MSW

    Noted San Francisco psychotherapist Marcia Iris Baum died on Saturday, August 18, as a result of severe injuries sustained in an automobile crash near the intersections of Highways 1 and 84 close to San Gregorio Beach in San Mateo County.

    As reported by members of the organization Gaylesta, the LGBT organization supporting mental health professionals, she was returning from Año Nuevo State Park where she had volunteered earlier in the day. Her BMW was hit head-on by another vehicle attempting to pass on the two-lane highway. She was airlifted to Stanford Hospital but was removed from life support later that day.

    According to the Half Moon Bay Review, the other driver, an 18-year-old Hayward man, sustained minor injuries, while his 17-year-old female passenger, also from Hayward, sustained major injuries.

    Baum had been a docent at Año Nuevo State Park for about a year and led tours, such as hiking to see elephant seals.

    “She was definitely well-liked in the community,” Mike Merritt, a State Parks interpreter who serves as the lead volunteer coordinator at Año Nuevo State Park, told the Review. “She was a great docent and a great supporter of the parks.”

    A native New Yorker, Baum lived all of her adult life in San Francisco. As a professional counselor, she was in private practice for more than thirty-five years. She was an instructor at San Francisco State University and conducted accredited continuing education trainings. She was a frequent speaker on the mental health needs of LGBT people. As a founding member of Gaylesta since its origins, Baum frequently volunteered for the organization, serving on the board of directors and as co-president from 2012–2016.

    Members of the San Francisco Bay Times team were deeply saddened when word of her death became known. Baum was for many years a frequent participant in outdoor and networking activities hosted by “Betty’s List” and was also an advocate and supporter of the Bay Times since the change in ownership in 2011.

    “We lost one of the most trustworthy and caring people I’ve ever known,” said San Francisco Bay Times co-publisher and “Betty’s List” founder Betty Sullivan. “She was greatly admired among her colleagues and as someone who truly deserved to be called ‘a therapist’s therapist.’ Marcia’s passing has created an unexpected and deeply felt loss among so many of us who knew her and admired the humanity she exemplified. Our thoughts and prayers are with her immediate and extended family during a very difficult time.”

    A memorial service was held on August 23 at Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma.