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John A. Bauer

March 12, 2019 GMT

John A. Bauer

John A. Bauer, 88 years of age, of Beatrice passed away at the Good Samaritan Center in Beatrice Saturday morning, March 9, 2019. John was born January 8, 1931 to John and Marie Bauer of Hastings. Both parents were German-Russian and had immigrated to the US at a young age. In 1936, John’s brother Jim was born, and the family moved to Beatrice, where John Sr. opened Bauer’s Shoes. John Jr. began his schooling in Beatrice but continued to take trips to Hastings in the summer, where he learned about woodworking (a life-long hobby) from his maternal grandfather, Grandpa Gettmann. This also gave his folks a break to recover from his antics, like the time when he hit his brother Jim in the head. (There were only four stitches!) Eventually, he outgrew his shenanigans (pretty much) and even became an Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm. After John graduated from Beatrice High School in 1948, he enrolled in the ROTC program at Wentworth Military Academic in Lexington, Missouri, but transferred later to UNL to finish his bachelor’s degree and earn a commission in the US Army as 2nd Lieutenant. Transferring to UNL was a stroke of luck, because John met the love of his life on campus. When admitted to UNL’s Health Center with a stomach flu, a lovely nurse on duty named Frances Bohner turned her attention on him. He got better in no time, turned on his charm, and proposed a few weeks later.

John and Fran got married on August 24, 1952, first living in Lincoln and then, after John’s return from 13 months of combat in the Korean War, they moved to Beatrice, where they raised their three sons Jerry (born 1953), Steve (1956) and Mark (1957). John went into partnership with his father at the shoe store in 1955, while Frances continued to work as a nurse. The family also began to take their famous camping trips, to visit Fran’s parents in Loveland, CO, and to travel all over the US. John took over Bauer’s Shoes from his parents in 1967, and famously knew the shoe size of all his regular customers by heart. It was a sad day for Beatrice when John closed the store in 2001, but at 70, he was ready to enjoy more camping and casino trips with Fran, as well as regular morning coffee with his buddies at Valentino’s after his swim at the Y. John was an active community member in the city of Beatrice all his life and belonged to many organizations. He was the last surviving charter member of the Beatrice Sertoma Club (founded in 1955), and an active member of the Shriners, the Gage County Historical Society, the Beatrice Community Hospital Board, the Beatrice Cemetery Board, the Beatrice Humane Society, the YMCA, as well as the Methodist Church.

John was preceded in death by Fran, his wife of 65 years, who died in January of 2018 at the age of 89. Theirs had been a wonderful relationship and he always gave her a lot of credit for putting up with his antics and his shortfalls. He is survived by his brother Jim (with spouse Pauline), three sons and their families: Jerry Bauer of Canton, GA, his wife LuAnn Johnson Bauer and their children Nick Bauer and Timoree Bauer Bowsman (with spouse Andy); Steve Bauer of Beatrice, and Mark Bauer of Lincoln, with wife Antje and his three stepchildren, as well as by nieces and nephews on both his and Fran’s side of the family. His sharp common sense, his booming voice, and his pranks and punchlines will be dearly missed by all.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Beatrice with Rev. Mark Schutt officiating. Interment will be in the Evergreen Home Cemetery with military honors presented by Beatrice American Legion Post #27. The body will lie in state Friday from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice with the family greeting friends from 6-7:30, and at the church one hour preceding the service on Saturday. A family prayer service will be at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the church. A memorial has been established to the family’s choice with the funeral home in charge. Sign John’s online guest book and view his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.

These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.