IOwa COuncil of Teachers of Mathematics

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Diane Baum

The Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics is sad to learn that Diane Lee Baum, age 89 of Cedar Falls, died Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center.

Diane served in many roles with ICTM. She was a Past President and was the ICTM Registrar for many years. Diane never sought attention. Her only goal was to make ICTM stronger and to do whatever was needed to make that happen. ICTM has lost a dear friend.  

She was born on July 2, 1932, in Spencer, the daughter of Herbert and Blanche (Brunais) Sorenson. Diane earned her BA from Iowa State Teachers College in 1954, and her MA from State College of Iowa in 1957, both in mathematics. She attended Indiana University, leaving in 1970 after completing all requirements for a doctorate except a dissertation. Diane was united in marriage to Dale Baum on June 14, 1959, and they divorced after six years.

She taught in elementary schools in Iowa Falls and Duluth and then in the Mathematics Department at the University of Northern Iowa for 33 years. Throughout her teaching career, she was a powerful force, often working behind the scenes but sometimes in leadership positions. Her focus was on her students, her schools, and her professional organizations.

Diane was fascinated with trains and collected all sorts of railroad memorabilia. She traveled widely, visiting all seven continents. She loved her pets, rooted for her favorite sports teams, solved puzzles, and eagerly tackled any project that involved building or fixing something. She will be remembered for her strong opinions (stubbornness), elaborate stories, and her generosity. She enriched the lives of others; in her last years, her life was enriched by workers-who-became-friends who enabled her to remain at home.

Diane is survived by her nieces and nephew: Kristine Pigman (Garry) of Surprise, AZ, Linda (Michael) Herberth of Oregon, Danica Sorenson of Seal Beach, CA, and Randy Sorenson of Iowa and by many great-nieces and nephews as well as many friends and colleagues.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Donald Sorenson, a great-nephew, Jabriel Sorenson, and a special friend, Augusta Schurrer.

Funeral services will be 1:30 pm Thursday, November 11, at Richardson Funeral Service in Cedar Falls. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the funeral. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, in Cedar Falls. Memorials may be directed to the UNI Foundations specifying the Diane Baum Endowed Scholarship (for pre-service elementary teachers) or the Diane Baum Math Endowment (for program support). Online guestbook at

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