Jimmy Bauer, 88, of Bucyrus, passed peacefully on Friday, December 31, 2021 at his home in the presence of his four children after a one week battle with cancer.
He was born on June 7, 1933 in Akron, Ohio to the late Edward and Florence (Miller) Bauer. When he was in sixth grade, the family moved to a farm in Zanesville. Being part of a farming family taught him the value of hard work which aided him throughout his life. In 1950, Jim was one of 11 students who graduated from Hopewell High School. After graduation, Jim attended Marietta College and was the last freshman to earn varsity letters in basketball, baseball and football in one year. This is amazing as Jim had never played football in high school as the school didn’t have a team. One summer during these years, Jim worked for the US Coast Guard Merchant Marines, working on iron ore freighters that traveled the Great Lakes.
Jim was initially hired in as a teacher and coach at Jacksontown High School, where he was introduced to Donna Beard, the daughter of one of the school’s cooks. They married on December 14, 1956 and she preceded him in death on March 21, 2021. After starting a family, Jim and Donna relocated to Bucyrus where Jim became the basketball coach at Holmes Liberty. From there, he became the coach at Danville, before returning to the area to coach at Mt. Zion. When the new Wynford High School opened in fall of 1963, Jim became the school’s first basketball coach and proudly led the Royals until he retired from coaching in 1976. In addition to his run of 13 consecutive winning seasons and 270 total victories, Jim also coached baseball, football; served as Wynford’s Athletic Director and was a football referee. He taught Government for most of his teaching career before retiring in 1985. He also spent many summers working for Bucyrus Road Materials.
In 1965 Jim and Donna built the home he lastly resided in, and both he and Donna loved being part of this community. During their summer months, the family spent many weekends camping at Lake Erie. They did a lot of boating and fishing, which led to freezers full of perch and walleye. Jim also enjoyed reading and the many trips to Columbus to watch the state high school basketball tournaments. He witnessed some great basketball and also enjoyed a few games of euchre with friends. Jim will be remembered for his huge garden which produced a vast variety of vegetables and during the Christmas season, he took great pride in decorating a rather large tree, lit up by hundreds of lights. Jim proudly supported Duke basketball and even though the last Duke/OSU game ended in a loss, he was proud to have been in attendance.
He and Donna were faithful members of Epworth/Bucyrus UMC since 1965. Jim was privileged to have received many coaching awards and recognitions, including being honored as the first member of the Wynford Athletic Hall of Fame; inducted into both the Crawford and Wyandot County Halls of Fame and a multiple recipient of Coach of the Year Award. He was a longtime member of the Bucyrus YMCA and continued to regularly swim and exercise up to a month ago.
He is survived by children, Jim Bauer of Crestline, Rick (Jill) of Nevada, Jerry (Rachel) of Gig Harbor, Wash. and Tamara of Boca Raton, Fla.; grandchildren, Zac (Erin) Bauer, Brett (Lexis) Bauer, Alex (Hayley) Bauer, Whitney (Erik North) Bauer, Rachael (Corey) Richardson, Timyra (Ryan Laake) Wilson, and Nick Reynolds; four great grandchildren, Olivia, Owen, Madelynn and Atley; sister Joyce Weiser of Zanesville and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by brothers, Donald and Bob and a daughter-in-law, Karen Bauer.
Jim’s family will receive friends from 9:30 – 12:55 pm Friday, January 7 at Bucyrus UMC, 227 S. Walnut St, Bucyrus, Ohio where his funeral will follow at 1:00 pm with Pastor Mike Corwin officiating. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.
If desired, donations can be made payable to the Bucyrus YMCA and will be accepted through Wise Funeral Service or at the church on the day of services. Memories are encouraged to be shared on his tribute wall at www.wisefuneral.com.