James Joseph Bauer was resting peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, when the gates of heaven opened and he was called home. He rejoined the love of his life, Bette, on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2018.
He was born on June 29, 1933, in Lima, Wis., to George A. and Florence Bauer. He married Bette Lou Thompson on Nov. 18, 1952. They were married for 64 years. Together, they created a close and loving family. They shared yearly family trips, 40-plus years of fishing up north on Memorial weekend, hayrides and campfires at the family getaway (Furlows), yearly birthday celebrations at Irvine Park, where they have a Bauer family memory stone located by the bears—Jim’s favorite animal in the zoo. Irvine Park, which Jim had visited since age four, was a special place to him.
His wife and children were his pride and joy. He loved children and having his grandchildren and great-grandchildren on his lap giving him a hug or kiss as he tousled their hair. He loved his wife dearly and missed her every day since her passing on March 4, 2017. Jim was a man of great character, admired by many. In his younger years, when he worked for the Mondovi Co-op and milked cows and farmed, he was known as “Jumping Jim.” He was always on the go and lived every day with intent.
He was a hard worker who believed if you didn’t do things right, they weren’t worth doing. He always took the best care of whatever he owned. You could often hear him saying, “Ho-hum,” when he was getting ready to relax. He taught his values through example. He loved the warmth and brightness of the sun as he sang along with country western songs while doing field work in his John Deere tractor. He won many awards for his corn production and many enjoyed his sweet corn! He loved the animals he would encounter, especially the fawns. Yellow finches, woodpeckers, and juncos were among his favorite birds.
He took time to appreciate the beauty of scenery. He also enjoyed travel with his family and friends, especially to Sun City, Ariz., where he looked forward to seeing the orange trees. He loved fishing and catching big, fat “pumpkin seeds,” as he would call them. In his younger years, he bowled and served on the Mondovi Fire Department. He won many tractor pulls. He enjoyed collecting antique tractors and cars. Bette and Jim and their dog rode in the parades in their 1957 Chevy. All those he touched, were blessed in some way. His passions were family, farming and nature, with God at the steering wheel.
Jim will be forever missed by his children, Vicky Breidung (Ray Sr.), David Bauer, Sharie Furst (Jay), of Rochester, Minn., Cindy Brantner (Duane), Chuck Bauer (fianceé, Michelle), all of Mondovi; grandchildren, Ray Breidung Jr., Stacy Breidung, Kristy Breidung, Sara Kins, Jenny Swanson, Andy Kins, Kirin Furst, Nik Furst, Sheila Fedie, Heidi Bignell, Mitch Brantner, Kim Nelson, Chad Bauer, Matt Bauer, Joey Binskowski; 18 great-grandchildren; brothers, Lawrence and Richard Bauer of Durand; sisters, Bernice Butzlaff, Kansasville, Wis., Rosetta Swartout, Shell Lake, Wis., Mary Ellen Braden, Racine, Wis.; sisters-in-law, Mryna Zwiefelhofer, Racine, Ila Baader, Nelson; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Mondovi, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, with Father Paul Bosco presiding. Burial followed in the parish cemetery.
Please share your memories and condolences online at www.talbotfuneralhomes.com.