by Timothy Corder
(San Diego, CA USA)

Rod was a very special person. He was born in Sioux City, Iowa to unwed parents and placed for adoption immediately after birth. He was adopted by Charles and Mary Lou Baumhover shortly thereafter and moved to the mountains of Colorado where he was raised along with his brother, David John. The family owned a German restaurant in the resort town of Estes Park where Rod began to develop his culinary skills from the time he was 7 years old. He was a champion swimmer throughout his youth, and earned many awards for his speed and endurance, mostly for the butterfly stroke, which is, perhaps, the most difficult style of swimming.

He worked in his parents restaurant until it closed in the late 1980's, and was accepted to the University of Colorado upon graduating from Estes Park High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration without any financial help from his family. A swim meet brought him to San Diego in 1991. He immediately fell in love with the city's Mediterranean climate, romantic atmosphere, and picturesque landscape. He started making plans to move here excited about the many opportunities for a career in the culinary industry as millions of tourists visit every year.

He had so many talents. He loved people, cats, and gardening. He could cook absolutely anything. He loved to entertain, and when he did, you felt special. No detail was ever too big or small, His love of food and the hospitality industry landed him some great jobs in San Diego. He worked for the Sfuzzi, Inc. chain when they were at the pinnacle of their success, and for the 5-star Westgate Hotel. He also managed the kitchen at The Bayou Bar & Grill, and worked for Sodexho corporate services at the time of his untimely death.

Rod was a survivor. He overcame many obstacles in his life. His world was shattered in late 1995 when his mother, Mary Lou. became ill and died suddenly. Several months later, he learned that he was HIV positive, at a time when effective drugs had not yet been discovered. He became very health conscious, but developed epilepsy in 1997. The doctors were able to get his seizures under control with Dilantin, which he took for many years, and continued to work hard, always. When it became necessary to start taking medications for advanced HIV, Rod's doctors had to replace his Dilantin with an experimental anti-epileptic drug called Keppra, as it would be more desirable with the protease inhibitors.

On December 19, 2007, I received a call from the UCSD Hospital Trauma Department that Rod had been in an accident. I rushed to the hospital and discovered that he had had a seizure while driving to work. He had rolled his car on the freeway, but his seat belt saved his life. I took him home that same day. Although his car was destroyed, he suffered only minor cuts and bruises. I begged him not to drive anymore because of what could happen, not only to him, but to someone else. I had him almost convinced to give up his job, or move to another part of town where he could easily take the train to work. I even paid my friends behind his back to give him rides so he would get there safely. He was very independent, however, and his friends helped him to rent a car. I worried, but let it go, believing that God would look out for him, and that bad things don't happen to good people.

Monday, March 17th, 2008 was the worst day of my life. I woke up to missed calls and text messages, something about an accident. I called Rod's cell phone. It rang 4 times and went to voicemail, I called the desk where he always answered at work...some strange voice answered the phone. I called his friend who had sent the text message. He said Rod was at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, but they wouldn't tell us anything because we weren't family. I got in the car and started to go there, but stopped at my friends house because I feared the worst, and didn't want to be alone when the news came. We were told soon after that, that Rod had died at the hospital, about 2 hours after his car was seen veering off the Interstate 5 at a high rate of speed, vaulting off of a small cliff, and slamming into a eucalyptus tree.

Later that same day, I learned that my poor friend of 15 years had been violently thrown through the windshield of the 2007 Nissan Altima on impact, and suffered devastating injuries to almost every part of his body. I never got to see him, or have any of his ashes. I just pray to God that he never regained consciousness from the seizure, never felt any pain or had any awareness of how badly he was hurt. He died at the age of 42. He was the best friend I ever had, and the only person who ever really loved me. My life is hollow and empty without him. All I have to be thankful for is the wonderful time we had together. He taught me how to be at peace, how to appreciate the world around me, and how to love myself. Thank you, Rod, for all the love, patience, and uncountable gifts you gave me. You were always and will always be my angel! I love you!


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Dec 30, 2015
Never fotgotten
by: Timothy Corder

Missing Rod today as 2015 comes to an end. Hard to believe we are coming up on 8 years in March! Thank you to all those who have commented. We will see him again someday! <3

Jun 23, 2015
Rod is missed.
by: Jonathan Dowling

I was good friends with Rod in the 1980s when I was a grad student at the University of Colorado. I also was wondering what he was up to when I found this site. I am very sad to hear about his death. He was a funny and wonderful guy.

Nov 04, 2012
correction on my email address for Tim
by: Angie Baumhover Campbell

Tim my email address is
I mistakenly put "net". My sister Kristi Baumhover Fiala and I would love to get in touch with you.

Nov 04, 2012
Missing my cousin
by: Angie Baumhover Campbell

I am Rod's cousin, our dad's are brother's. I have many fond memories of visiting Rod & his brother John in Colorado & we were the rebel cousins when we got together in Iowa. We had many laughs and fun times. I remember pulling pranks with him on the other cousins & doing "donuts" in an icy parking lot.
I lost touch with him when we all went off to college & I was given very few details about his life and his passing, so I am so greatful that I found this beautiful tribute to him. I am so greatful that he had such wonderful friends who loved him. I would love to hear from Tim. I had a strange experience last night on his birthday when I found his Facebook page & realized that it was his birthday on the day that I found his page. I know that he is in heaven with Mary Lou & he is having a great time up there!
Tim please email me at My sister Kristi and I would love to hear from you & thank you for loving our cousin!
Angie Baumhover Campbell

Mar 19, 2012
Now that 4 years have passed...
by: Anonymous

Dear Rod,

The last 4 years without you have been so many things that I want to tell you, so many things I need your guidance to get through. Even though I feel your presence and know that you are with me every day, it's just not the same as the days when we used to walk together, laugh together, sharing the special magic that was Rod & Tim.

I know I will never find another soul like yours, which is why I have never tried. The decision to leave San Diego did not come easy for me, but in the end it felt right. Thank you for being my angel and for all the love that transcends this dimension--which I wouldn't even understand if it had not been for you. You showed me what love is. You enlightened me. You gave me the most valuable gifts someone could receive. I will always love you!


Mar 17, 2012
Chef Rod
by: Anonymous

...Corned went into work to prepare the corned beef the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. You always paid attention to the smallest culinary details. You will always be the best chef and the one whose standards I hold all cooks to. We were blessed to know you Chef, and I am grateful you shared your gift with so many of us.

Aug 16, 2011
A day to remember him
by: Tim Corder

I will be at the Louisville cemetery outside of Denver, this coming Wednesday afternoon, August 17th, to visit my departed friend, Rod, and the beautiful stone his family placed in his memory. I am getting older, and my health makes it more difficult for me to travel each year, but I will continue to do it as long as I'm able, because I have so little to remember him by. Aside from a poorly marked spot in the California desert, and a place of tragedy on the side of the road, this is all I have.

I invite anyone and everyone from Rod's Colorado friends and family to join me, to remember him for the exceptional person he was, and how grateful we are for the time we had with him.

The Louisville cemetery is located at highway 42 and Empire Road in the town of Louisville, Colorado.

Peace and love to you all!

May 31, 2011
Hi Eric!
by: Tim Corder

I tried to email you, but not sure address was right. I would love to meet or talk with you. Rod spoke of you many times over the years. I am very excited to see the video footage that you have. You are welcome to call me anytime at 619-279-6652. Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you!


May 27, 2011
He was my Roommate
by: Eric Siegel

Today is May 27th 2011. Looking through my database I came across Rod?s name and was curious what he was up to these days, so I put his name into Google search. That?s when I found this page. It saddened me very much to learn this.
I was the first one he lived with when he moved to San Diego, he was one of the best roommates I had ever had. Indeed we became friends and had some fun times.
Those who say of him, that he was an angel, its true. If the world were made up of people like him, we would be living in haven.
Only the good die young. Sooner or later we will all depart from this Earth. It really bothers me to see so many gay friends die of AIDS or AIDS related complications like with Rod and they don?t believe or care that the Government created AIDS. There is no doubt about this.
I do have some video footage of Rod, which I can share. You can contact me at

May 25, 2011
Typo on date
by: Tim

I hope you all are well. I've always been aware of that, as you know from the other things (videos, etc.) I've done. That was a typo when I created the space on this site in the summer of 2008. It has always bothered me, but I didn't know how to change it without deleting the entire thing and re-doing it, which would have also meant deleting some of the wonderful things that were said about him by friends, co-workers, etc. If the site administrators could make this small change for us, I would sure appreciate it!
Editor: Please specify the error and I will try to correct it. I'm not sure what the error is.

Jan 05, 2011
Birth date
by: DJB


FYI - He was born in '65 not '66.

Dec 29, 2010
Some comforting news about Rod's final moments
by: Timothy Corder

Several weeks back, I had the opportunity to speak with the kind soul who was the only witness to the crash that took Rod from us. He is a good Samaritan, not only because he stopped to help someone in need, but also because, more than 2 years later, he took the time to discuss the accident with me, which helped me to find some peace and some closure.

He described watching helplessly from his car as he saw Rod's car, which he insists was NOT speeding, suddenly veer off of the road, as he was entering the freeway--Rod's car only 50-100 yards ahead of him. Suddenly, to his right, a huge dust cloud and loud crashing sounds. He frantically pulled his car to the side of the road and ran down the embankment, through the dirt and debris. Rod's car had rolled twice, but had landed upright on all 4 wheels and was facing the opposite direction he had been traveling. The engine was still running.

Dec 27, 2010
Final moments (continued)
by: Timothy Corder

He saw a person lying next to the car, and presumed the person had "already passed" because he was motionless. As he approached, he could hear breathing, and immediately summoned help by dialing 911 from his cell phone. He stayed with Rod for the 4-5 minutes that it took rescuers to arrive, and said things to him like, "Hang in there, man...Help will be here soon, hold on." Rod never moved a muscle, never opened his eyes, and never appeared to be in any distress. Rather, he appeared to be sleeping peacefully.

The official reports that describe his condition from the first officer to arrive on the scene to the trauma staff at the hospital, all state that he never regained consciousness at any time. I was glad to know this, but it was those first moments, before help arrived, that always troubled me. In the absence of facts, the imagination tends to fill in the unknowns with "what ifs."

Thanks to this kind man, who modestly denies that he is a hero, or deserving of recognition, not only comforted Rod and kept him from being alone, but comforted me, by helping me to know that he never suffered. In fact, from his perspective, one minute, he was driving to work, the next minute, he was with his mom. I am so grateful for this man, and the information he shared, that I wanted to post it here, so that all those who loved Rod, could find comfort in what I have learned.

Oct 27, 2010
a cross at the side of the road
by: Anonymous

I never knew Rod, but when I see a cross at the side of the road, I always wonder what happened. I also pray for that person. I pass that site frequently on the road. My own brother also died in a car accident. Know that I will pray for Rod, and that he will be at rest in God's kingdom of heaven.

Mar 13, 2010
Missing him
by: Anonymous

We're coming up on two years next week. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. He touched the lives of everyone he met. I really miss him and am so grateful to Tim for taking the time to put photos and memorials online. I really needed to see Rod's face today and had a good cry and a couple of laughs when I watched the memorial tributes on Youtube. Thanks for putting a lasting memorial within reach. God bless you and Rod's friends and family in the days ahead.

Aug 10, 2009
by: Timothy Corder


I appreciate the comment you posted to Rod's memorial tribute. Indeed, it was a horrible shock to everyone who knew him, but it's probably been tougher for me to accept than anyone else, as I was with him every day for 15 years, and found much of my identity in the special relationship that we had. The last year and a half has been really hard.

I wish I could say I recognized your name, but perhaps I don't know you. Rod had a lot of friends and co-workers, many of whom I knew well, but some that I never got to meet, How did you know him/us, and how did you happen upon the details of his passing? If there is anything else you would like to know about any of this, I'm happy to answer your questions. His memory is kept alive when those of us who knew him allow ourselves to talk, feel, and remember.

Below is a link to a video slideshow presentation I made to celebrate his life and our time together...Thank you for the thoughtfulness of your response. If Rod were here to see all the expressions of support and concern that have come from our friends in the community, he would be very proud. Let me hear more from you, and again, thanks for taking the time to reply.

[ed note: copy & paste the above URL into your browser address box to visit the link]

Aug 09, 2009
by: Frank Haro

I was shocked to read that this has happened. Having known Rod for a few years, I was saddened to hear about his passing.

I am so sorry to hear what has happened, and can understand why you miss him so. I would too.

He is certainly in a much better place now.

Contact me.

Jun 11, 2009
Thank you, anonymous author!

I printed and have read your posting at least 100 times, but never once have I gotten through it with dry eyes. No one could have chosen better words to describe our friend, our angel, Rod. I know he watches over me each hour of every day because nothing bad ever happens to me anymore.

He would be proud that people thought of him this way, which is why your kind and eloquent words are now a permanent addition to his final resting place, for him, and all those who visit, to see. Thank you, again, for your special gift, for saying what we all feel, but could not express as poetically, as perfectly, as you have!


P.S. After meeting you for the first time, I made it a point to tell Rod that you were one of those "super bright" people who is "capable of anything." I guess that's something the two of you had in common... God Bless!

Sep 20, 2008
Our Extraordinary Friend, Rod
by: Anonymous

It's been a few days over six months since Rod passed. I never met anyone so diligent, so dedicated to being the best he could be. He was so giving of his heart and time to a fortunate group of friends and coworkers. Everyday, he shined a little brighter. You hear that people are the "glue that holds it together"..he was the glue. He had inordinate courage at the same time, had such humility. I can still see him smile, his laugh, feel how he hugged with such love. He shared with pride the catacombs and clandestine spots in his community- the jewels that mark the moments he learned of his friends' innermost needs and triumphs.

Rod was a sharer, a giver, a man who saw treasure in the sparkle of broken glass, the rivers of red in the autumn sky, the dreams in a new cook's eyes. He helped us see the impossible could be done if you just saw the outcome and his outcomes were often the masterpieces we get to see once or twice in our lifetime if we are lucky.

I am changed because I knew him briefly. He had to be an angel- nobody has that kind of energy or optimism. He was really very special.

No words, just tears because I can't call him and tell him when I am proud or scared anymore. I'm grateful that I can see his pictures and smile and imagine what he was thinking when they were taken. His impish smile, his forward fast walk, his genuine smile.

He did great work on earth, our friend Rod. May God bless him and all those who loved him today as we ease into the fall and the days around his birthday.

Aug 03, 2008
keep the faith
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your letter. Yes, I did get to see him. I was so touched by his funeral. It was a celebration of his life. While I did not get to say goodbye, I hope to honor him with my life as his Mother. I am thankful for his beautiful children and his wife.

I pray for you daily. God sees and knows your hurt. He cares, I promise. Even though I don't know you, I care. You are right, keep me posted on how you are doing. Read the 23rd Psalms . Remember you are not alone. Your friend

Jul 26, 2008
coincidence of broken hearts
by: Anonymous

I was looking thru differnent entries and saw Yours. The dates slammed into me. My 41 year old son was born one month after your Rod and died 2 days before in a violent car accident. I understand the horrible emptiness. It is like someone tore off my right arm and expects me to be able to function like I used to. My beautiful son loved life and family and God. He was so protective of me. The missing them will never go away for either of us, but we must do our best to leave behind a legacy they would be proud of. I will pray for you and please, you do the same for me.

Jul 12, 2008
What a beautiful tribute!
by: Anonymous

You made me cry. I'm so sorry for your loss, and just know that your angel is looking over you now.

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