Obituary for Michael Thomas Baublitz
Michael Thomas Baublitz, age 70, passed away peacefully at his home in Oakland, California, on June 4, 2017. Born in York, Pennsylvania, on January 2, 1947, Michael relocated to California with his parents and siblings in 1958, first living in Southern California, then moving up North to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1959, living in various locations through the years. He eventually settled in the Oakland-Lake Merritt area where he lived for the past 20 years or so.
Michael attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, as part of the first incoming class, starting in its inaugural year 1965, and graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. He further pursued graduate studies in Urban-Regional Planning at San Jose State University (1970-1974), in Geography at San Francisco State University (1983-1985), and later received his Master of Arts degree in Geography from the California State University, Hayward (now East Bay), in 1994.
Michael's earlier professional background included positions as an engineering aide at Bechtel Corporation during summers while in college; a freelance writer on contract; a graphic designer and technical illustrator; a self-employed graphics artist; and various copy editing, proofreading, and typography positions. He was a long-standing employee of the University of California (UC) System, including the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, holding various administrative, academic, editorial, database, and technical positions during his approximate 15-year tenure within the UC System. After leaving UC employment, he began working as an Independent Service Provider-Academic Tutor (Math & Science) through the Department of Rehabilitation for the State of California Health and Human Services Agency, Community Resources Development, and for many years provided individual tutoring and guidance for people with disabilities, to enable them to continue pursuing higher education and advanced career opportunities. He was also previously a Board member of the Independent Living Resources of Solano & Contra Costa Counties, an organization advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, and providing assistance with educational opportunities and community resources to empower those with disabilities to live more independently.
Michael was an avid speaker, researcher, writer, and traveler. He participated in Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization which operates through local clubs worldwide, offering programs and projects designed to improve the communication, public speaking, and leadership skills of its membership. He traveled extensively throughout parts of the US Pacific Northwest region, particularly in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State; and made many trips back East to visit family relatives and friends, also exploring new places along the way while traveling throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC. One particularly ambitious adventure was when he embarked on a solo cross-country road trip from the West Coast to the East Coast and back, with multiple stopovers and backroad trips, exploring 18 states in 37 days covering 9,630 miles. Most of his travels over the years were picture-taking journeys through state and national parklands and preserves, majestic mountains, picturesque lakes and valleys, historic towns, farms and communities, and enjoying the scenic countryside. Along the way, he took the time to learn about each area's history and unique charms, and made every effort to meet and get acquainted with the local people. After each trip, he meticulously organized a portfolio of his photos, wrote an in-depth summary of his travels, including many humorous anecdotes, as well as very interesting and educational facts about each location, and took great pleasure in printing, distributing and sharing his newsletters with family and friends. Each publication was a wonderful gift providing historic and geographic lessons, complete with his personal insights and beautiful pictures. To quote from one of Michael's writings, he was "just interested in people and places, history and geography, landscapes and the back roads; all vital elements which make up America, and which should be enjoyed by all and cherished for their lasting values. See America!" His zest for life and adventure; love of family and friends; appreciation of the beauty of nature; admiration of our country, its people and places; keen mind, sharp wit and sense of humor; and never-ending quest to continue learning, discovering, sharing, and caring about others will be greatly missed but will remain in our memories and always be a continuing inspiration.
Michael is survived by his sister Susan, brother Tracy (and wife Mary), sister-in-law Connie, nieces Andrea, Katharyn and Melinda, nephew Conor, grand-nephews Sean and August, several cousins, aunts and uncles, and numerous other relatives on both the West and East Coasts. He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Lorie, sister Barbara, and brother Timothy.
A brief gravesite service and inurnment is scheduled for 11:00am on Friday, June 16, 2017, at Oakmont Memorial Park, 2099 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, CA 94549.