Joseph “Joe” Frederick Bauer, a longtime resident of rural Ogallala passed away January 31, 2021 at the age of 91.
Joe was born August 2, 1929 to Lutheran missionaries Julius and Elizabeth Bauer in Alameda Argentina. He was the oldest of five siblings. In Argentina, Joe grew up speaking German in the Lutheran School that his father built and Spanish with his Argentine friends.
The Bauers returned to the United States when Joe was ten years old. They moved to a small farm in Palmyra Missouri, very close to where Julius had met Elizabeth while on his vicarage. Joe attended country school in rural Palmyra for his elementary education, then he went to St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Concordia, Missouri where young men were
sent to prepare for the ministry. After graduating from high school and a year of college Joe moved to Ogallala, and found his calling in farming and serving the church as a layman.
“Farm League” baseball was one of his passions. He had been invited by the St. Louis
Cardinals to try out for the team; but his love for baseball would be replaced by his love for the beautiful Miss Bernice Stutheit. They were married September 2, 1951 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ogallala NE.
Later that year, Joe enlisted in the newly formed U.S. Air Force and served in France during the Korean War while Bernice stayed in Ogallala. Joe often shared the memories he and Bernice made in France when she came to visit. After serving overseas, they were stationed in Topeka, Kansas where their favorite daughter, Katherine, was born.
When Joe’s military stint was over, they returned to Ogallala where Joe worked as a carpenter and a farmer. Joe was very proud of the many houses he and Lyle Blakely built together – many are still standing today. In 1957, their favorite daughter, Marjorie, was born. In 1961 they moved to the Stutheit farm South of Ogallala where Bernice had been born in 1930. Their favorite daughter, Lynette, was born in 1962. On that always “manicured” farm on the correction curve South of Ogallala, Joe and Bernice would raise their three daughters and farm for over fifty years. In 2015 they moved to Columbus NE.
Joe served on many boards at Church, enjoyed woodworking, Polka dancing, fishing, golfing, and spent many hours tinkering in the Quonset. He loved and served St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ogallala for most of his adult life. He knew that he was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Since Bernice’s passing in 2016, Joe alternated living with his daughters in Reno Nevada, Columbus Nebraska, and Baton Rouge Louisiana. He was extremely proud of his three daughters and their families; but he was waiting for the moment he would be united again with Bernice and together be with Jesus in heaven.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Bernice, son-in-law Doug Anderson, brother Julius, and sister June Reehl.
He is survived by three daughters, Kathy (Dave) Dickens, Margie (Mark) Mercer, and
Lynette (Dave) Buss, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, sisters Elizabeth Peterson, Sadie Frerking, and brother James (Marilyn). Joe also leaves a multitude of nieces, nephews, and friends – as he never met a stranger.
Service will be held Saturday, February 6, 2021 at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Ogallala, NE at 10:30 am. Visitation will be Friday, February 5 from 1-6pm at Prairie Hills Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Adopt an Orphanage - Orphan Grain Train
Norfolk, NE. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com, where a recording of the service will be posted.
Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala is in charge of arrangements.