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Obituaries » James J. Bauer

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April 14, 1930 - June 10, 2018

Burial Date June 15, 2018

Family will receive friends on Thursday, June 14 2018 from 4p-7p at the funeral home, with a Rosary to begin at 6:30 pm.  A mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday June 15, 2018 at St. Ann Catholic Church  in Augusta, Michigan, with Fr. Francis Marotti officiating, and Deacon Michael Carl assisting.  Jim will be laid to rest with full military honors on Monday, June 18 at 11:30 a.m.  Those wishing to attend the committal ceremony are asked to arrive to the cortege area no later than 11:20 a.m. In lieu of flowers, families are encouraged to make memorial contributions to Gull Lake Area Community Center, c/o the funeral home.

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Jim passed into the arms of the Lord on Sunday, June 10, 2018 after a lengthy illness.  He was born on April 14, 1930 in Graceville, MN, son of Anton and Laura Bauer and the oldest of seven children.  He spent the early part of his life working on the family farm.  In 1951, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Japan.  Upon being honorably discharged, Jim returned to Graceville to continue working on the family farm.  Although he had known the former Mary Herzenach all of his life, it wasn’t until then he worked up the nerve to ask her out on their first date.  Jim and Mary were wed on September 3, 1955 in Graceville.  Shortly after marrying, they moved to Fargo, North Dakota where Jim attended North Dakota State University.  After graduating from NDSU, (Go Bison!) Jim took subsequent jobs with John Deere in both Des Moines, Iowa and Moline, Illinois. In 1966, Jim received a telephone call that changed the trajectory of his career. They moved to Lisbon, North Dakota and Jim began his career with Melroe Bobcat as their Chief Design Engineer and was instrumental in inventing skid steer technology for what is commonly known today as the “Bobcat”.  In 1976, Jim moved his family to Richland, as he began his time with Clark Equipment Company. In 1982, Jim decided to hang out a “shingle” and started Bauer Development, Inc., which became a 30+ year career as a consulting engineer and he also owned and operated Skamp, Industries.  Jim loved what he did and considered himself “the luckiest guy alive” and retired at the age of 78.  Together, Jim and Mary had seven children:  Karl Bauer, Garner, Iowa; Kathy (Jon) Wiltse, Fargo, N.D.; Margaret (Ray) Horner, Mapleton, N.D.; Laurie (John) VanderBerg, Richland, MI; Elizabeth (Brad) Rodi, San Diego, CA.; 8 grandchildren, Jennifer and Heather Bauer, Parker and Joseph Wiltse, Mac Horner, James VanderBerg, and Megan and Brook Rodi, as well as 3 great grandchildren.  Jim was preceded in death by his love, Mary on June 11, 2014, their sons Michael and James, as well as his brothers, Rollie Bauer and Tom Bauer.