Scott Allan Baeseman, 52, of Highland Park, IL, died peacefully in Wisconsin at the home of his sister, Jody Baeseman and Steve Schlei, surrounded by his family, on June 6, 2021.
His last day on this earth was spent riding in the sunshine in his sister’s convertible and enjoying the glow of a campfire with his siblings.
Scott was born August 5, 1968 in Edgar, WI, son of the late Arden and Joan Baeseman. He married his husband, Valentin Serban, on March 20, 2021 in a beautiful ceremony on Lake Michigan in Highland Park. In addition to Valentin, he is survived by his two daughters, Stella and Margaret “Mimi”, who were the absolute loves of his life.
Scott was a 1986 graduate of Edgar High School. From there he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Opera from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated with honorary distinction and was invited to join Pi Kappa Lambda Society of Musical Scholars. As a Golden Apple Teaching Scholar with the Chicago Area Golden Apple Foundation, Scott was awarded a six-month sabbatical to Northwestern University to pursue his personal interests in social justice in education, harp performance, storytelling in education, and musical composition.
For the past twenty-two years, Scott served as Fine Arts Department Chair, music educator, and Choral Conductor at Lake Forest Country Day School. His awards were many, both local and national: Lake Forest Country Day Yvonne Banks Caring Teacher Award (twice), Lake Forest Country Day Charles E. Leake Master Teacher Award, Lake Forest Country Day James L. Marks III Faculty Merit Award, Lake Forest Country Day Second Century Teaching Chair Award, Illinois State Music Teacher of the Year, Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction, three-time Grammy Award Teacher of the Year nominee and finalist, and Edgar High School Wall of Fame for Distinguished Alums, for his contributions to music education. Although he was a decorated educator, he didn’t teach for accolades. In teaching, Scott had found his calling and was rewarded for his passion.
Scott was also a composer of sacred solo, choral, and instrumental works. His works premiered in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. His song cycle composition for solo voice and piano, based on the works of William Shakespeare, was awarded an Honorary Distinction Award and is housed in the national library for the National Association for the Teachers of Singing.
Scott was taught the value of volunteerism by his family early on and became a religious affiliate with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He volunteered as a Lay Episcopal Chaplain with the Highland Park Police Department for the past several years. As an educator, he spent several years as a lecture/recitalist with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, teaching and performing in their inner city schools’ program.
Scott was known as a colorful storyteller and used his own stories to help others in both his career as an educator and within his ministry. He ended each of his classes every day with a charge to his students, “Go Make A Positive Difference In the World!” and he was proud to maintain contact over the years with so many of his former students who did exactly that.
In addition to being survived by his husband and daughters, he is survived by his ex-husband and friend, DR Smith (Matt Foster) of Highland Park; his siblings Arden Jr. (Cara), Richard (Lisa), Aaron (Sommer), all of Edgar, WI; Kim Ninabuck (Scott) of Birnamwood, WI, Jody Baeseman (Steve Schlei) of Wausau, WI, and Dr. Zachary Baeseman (Rebecca) of Waupaca, WI. He is also survived by a big bunch of beautiful Wagner and Baeseman cousins, aunts, and uncles along with several nieces and nephews including: Mollie Jo Berg (Tyler), Mitchell Baeseman (Cassie), Cody Heidmann (Heidi), Kyla Baeseman, Atticus Ninabuck (Melanie), Stuart Ninabuck (Allie), his goddaughter, Alexandria Gajewski (Eric), Eric Wesolowski (Megan), Bradley Hornung (Jody), David Hornung , Mattea Baeseman, Ashlynn Baeseman, Macallen Baeseman, Rainier Baeseman, and Olin Baeseman in addition to his 24 great nieces and nephews. Scott is also survived by two other goddaughters, Maeve Berg of Wausau, WI and Fallon Anderson of Highland Park, IL.
In addition to his parents, Scott is preceded in death by his two sisters, Chrysanthemum (whom he named) and Michaela Marie.
A public police memorial service will be held in Highland Park, IL at a later date. A private burial will be held in October for the family in the Baeseman Cemetery in Rib Falls, WI.
Throughout Scott’s life and illness, he felt God was ever-present. He wanted people to know how important God was to him and how important it is to be grateful for your blessings in life. Scott loved his family and friends fiercely and was particularly grateful for everything his sister Jody, his niece Mollie Jo, and his brother Dr. Zachary did for his medical and spiritual care in his final months.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Scott’s honor to Viterbo University Music Department or the Baeseman Cemetery Trust.
A celebration of Scott's life will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 28, 2021 at the Highland Park Country Club adjoining the Preserve of Highland Park, 1201 Park Avenue West, Highland Park, IL.
To send flowers to Scott's family, please visit our floral store.