Gerald “Joe” Bauman, age 86, passed away on Saturday, April 24, 2021 completely surrounded by his family.
Services will be at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, April 30, 2021 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Rev. Donn Radde will officiate. Burial will be at a later date at Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation for relatives and friends will be from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, April 29 at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids and from 9:00 A.M. until the time of services on Friday at the church.
Joe was born September 1, 1934 to Fritz and Lorena (Zirbel) Bauman. He grew up and lived most of his life in Vesper, WI, most recently residing at Aster Assisted Living in Marshfield, WI.
Joe married Shirley Reiman in 1957. They raised a family of three children: Brenda (Jim) DuPree, Vesper, Mark (Tammy) Bauman, Bloomer, and Valerie (Jerry) Malinowski, Woodville. The marriage ended in divorce.
On June 10, 1989 he married his soulmate “Laney”, Elaine Bottensek. Much to Joe’s delight his family grew ten-fold that day to include Terry (Paula) Gruetzmacher, Marshfield, Barry (Sue) Gruetzmacher, Wisconsin Rapids, Gary (Patrick) Gruetzmacher, Sitges, Spain, Carmen (Dorie) Gruetzmacher, Letts, Iowa, and Jeff (Angie) Gruetzmacher, Lancaster.
Joe’s family gradually expanded to include his precious grandchildren: Lindsey (David) Peters, Dr. Stormie Reiman (husband Chad Stevenson), Sarah Back, Marisa Back, Brandon Gruetzmacher, Chelsey (fiancé Spencer) Gruetzmacher, Katy Gruetzmacher, Dr. Kelly (David) Groskopf, Sophia Gruetzmacher, Ella Gruetzmacher, and Vivian Gruetzmacher. His cherished great-grandchildren include: Isabella Peters, Anna Peters, Taysha Mullen, and Oskar Groskopf. He is further survived by his sister, Sharon (Irv) Vollert, Wisconsin Rapids, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Owen Bean.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Joe was the barber in Vesper, WI for over 50 years. He will most undoubtedly be remembered for his talent of storytelling. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of knowing Joe surely has a tale (or two) to remember him by.
Joe and Elaine shared many adventures together traveling around the U.S. including trips to Alaska and to Europe. They also treasured each summer spent camping and fishing with their many friends and family on the Chippewa Flowage.
Joe was an avid deer hunter. He loved spending time each season at deer camp with his son, family and friends. For him, it was most definitely a highlight of each year.
Joe was especially proud of his time served in the Army. In 2016 he had the privilege to participate in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, which was truly a memorable moment for him. He was a long-time member of the Vesper American Legion. He served as a member of the Vesper Volunteer Fire Department for more than 30 years. He also worked as a realtor for Century 21 for a number of years.
Joe will always be remembered for being the devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and neighbor that everyone wishes they had. He taught us how to polka dance and roller skate. He taught us that a hard honest day’s work is the only way to achieve success. He taught us that anything broken could always be fixed. Most of all, he taught us to live life with a smile. He was a very special man and will be deeply missed by many.
The family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Aster Assisted Living for their thoughtful care of Joe and also the Compassus team for their hospice support. We would like to send a special note of gratitude to Dr. Ewert and the Davita team for the care and consideration they showed Joe throughout all of his years of dialysis.
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