James "Jim" M. Bauer, age 90, of Yankton, South Dakota, passed away Saturday, November 19, 2016, at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton.
Funeral services will be 1:00 PM on Friday, November 25, 2016, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Yankton with Reverend Jeff Otterman officiating. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.
Pallbearers are Maurice Becker, Wilhelm Dehmer, Darold Haberman, John Heemstra, Lester Nielson, Luther Nielson, Jim Peterson, and Kenneth Ranek.
Jim was born in Yankton, SD to Cecil and Anna (Ekern) Bauer on December 8, 1925. He lived his entire life in Yankton except for the period from Jul 1943 to Nov 1945 when he served in the Army Air Corps at Randolph Field outside San Antonio, Texas. His duty included assignment to the School of Aviation Medicine which involved physical testing for the development of pressure flight suits and advances in zero-gravity flight. Upon his return from military service, he worked at Northwestern Public Service and Haley Electric as an electrician before starting his own business, Bauer Electric, in 1948.
Jim and Jean Elizabeth Kennedy were united in marriage on April 21, 1952 at Sacred Heart Church in Yankton. They built their home on West Street where they raised five children. Jim was an Assistant Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 180 for 15 years during which time his three sons earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Jim and Jean were both particularly proud they were able to help all five children obtain college degrees. Jim was also a founding member of the Yankton Sharpshooters Club.
Jim was appointed the first President of the South Dakota State Electrical Board in 1963 and was issued electrical contractor license Number 1. He was named the 1969 South Dakota Electrical Industry Man of the Year. Jim was a 65-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He was also a member and past president of the Yankton Chamber of Commerce.
For the past 35 years, Jim, along with Jean until her passing in 1997, was an avid supporter of and benefactor to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Tech). They endowed the Jeff Bauer Memorial and the Bauer Athletic Scholarships, which have provided more than 70 academic and athletic scholarships. They held numerous recruiting meetings at their home for the families of prospective Tech students, and they attended many of the school's cross country and track meets. Jim was awarded an Honorary PhD from Tech in 2003 and was inducted into the SDSM&T Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
He is survived by sisters Sally (John) Gross of Willow Street, PA and Barbara (Robert) Miller of Viborg, SD; children Katherine (Steven) Sanders of McCook Lake, SD, Paula Bauer of San Francisco, CA, Steven Bauer of Lorain, OH, and Julianne Bauer (wife of Christopher) of Yankton, SD; and seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Jean and sons Jeffrey Lee and Christopher James.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by memorials directed to the Jeff Bauer Memorial Scholarship, the Bauer Athletic Scholarship or the Chris Bauer Engineering Internship at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, in care of Steven Bauer, P.O. Box 7057, Yankton, SD 57078.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
My deepest sympathy to Jim's family. I will always remember what a kind and gentle man he was. He guided me throughout my life and was always there for me. I will miss you Dr. Dad! I love you.
We offer our condolences to all of Jim's family. He was dedicated to helping others, and continued in promoting education -- an excellent legacy.
Max and Jane Hawk
Paula: My condolences to you and all your family. It was an honor to have known your father. He was a wonderful man.
My sympathies to the family. I was honored to know Jim through Chris (cross country), and also in the later years he would frequent Harold's photo where I worked and would stop and visit and share his pictures. He was a very nice man.
My sincere sympathy to Jim's family. I had know Jim for many years and really enjoyed his stories about family, the military and baseball. He was my source for trivia on many subjects and a good talker. Our short conversations often expanded to a hour or more. May memories of your Dad give you joy and strength in the days ahead.
Jim was a nice & gentle man. We would all do well to emulate him in all we do. It was a privilege to care for him.
Sending our sympathies to the family. Jim was a wonderful man and Bob and Hubert had a long electrical relationship with him and Bob got to see him from time to time and talk about the old times. God Bless.
Bob and LuAnn Felber
My sympathy to Jim's family and particularly to Steven and Rhea. My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
Susan Thurston and Robin Wylie
"Mr. Bauer" and all of the Bauer family had a tremendous impact on our family. Our son Greg was a long time member of the GREAT Troop #180 of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Bauer was the assistant Scout Leader, Jean was the always involved woman behind the scene, and all of the Bauer boys were a huge part of the troop. Those years with the Bauer family helped form Greg into the wonderful man that he became and we will be forever grateful for that. We have so many memories and will always cherish our relationship with that very special family.
Bob and Marlene Schwenk
My sympathy to the Bauer family. I worked for your dad many years ago at Bauer Electric, and when my husband passed away, he was right there to do everything he could for me. I will never forget his generosity and his concern for me and my children. He was a special, caring man and will not be forgotten.
Marella Brewer Miedema
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