Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 25, 2017
Richard C. Baron
Rick Baron died quietly during the early hours of May
2, 2017 in his home at The Point at Rockridge in
Oakland, California, after a two decades long battle
with multiple illnesses. He is survived by his sister,
Dorothy Baron Schoening, of Bethesda, Maryland.
Rick was born in Washington DC to Jeanne Isaacs Baron, homemaker, and later a
staff member at The Washingtonian Magazine; and Theodore Baron, a
communications lawyer. He attended Shepherd Elementary School, Paul Jr High
School, and Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. where he was
captain of the golf team and honored to be named one of the first Presidential
Rick went on to Washington University in St. Louis in 1968, majoring in history and
earning a Phi Beta Kappa Key. During the height of the Vietnam War he enlisted in
the army, where he studied and attained fluency in Japanese at the Defense
Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, and served in
Korea. After he was discharged he received a Master of Sciences in Economics from
the University of Chicago. He worked as a management consultant for 11 years at
Hayes and Associates in Chicago. The high-tech boom beckoned and he became a
senior director of business development at Computer Systems Laboratory, Inc. in Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida, a spin-off of the US space program. Rick continued at CSL after
its acquisition by Gould Electronics, then a Fortune 200 firm. After Gould was
acquired by Nippon Mining in 1998, Rick moved on to entrepreneurship as CEO of
QD-Systems in Berkeley, California, one of the earliest and innovative Electronic
Medical Record Systems. Rick immersed himself in this technology and was a key
player in creating systems that worked for both patients and physicians.
Rick was eclectic in his interests and in his choice of friends and he gave both his full
dedication, passion and concern. He read extensively on particle physics, cosmology,
and Jewish history. Rick had a rare intellect and strong character with a focused and
clear mind. He was also notably level-headed and deliberate in every aspect of his life.
In the late 1980s, Rick began to suffer a long series of medical setbacks. He
nevertheless continued his career, working in various senior marketing and sales
positions. By 2008 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In 2014 increased
care needs required Rick to move to assisted living in Rockridge.
Rick left behind many friends. He will be very much missed by those who understood
him, loved his quick wit and unique point of view of the world and knew him well.