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Roger was “Mr. Fix-it”. At least, that was the case until the unfixable Prostate Cancer showed up. Roger Edward Bauer of Altoona passed away peacefully on May 17, 2023.
He was born March 24th, 1936, to Ruth (Bilderback) and Jack Bauer. Roger attended and graduated from school in Durand. As a child, Roger was an early riser. He would get the stove-fire started and ate breakfast before anyone else woke up. Ruth often said he had a better breakfast than anyone else because he had the first chance at the food available. Roger loved to tinker and often helped in the family repair shop in downtown Durand.
Roger’s brother, Bob, convinced him to go on a blind date with his girlfriend’s roommate, Sonja Matz. This meeting grew into love, and Roger and Sonja were married on June 3, 1961. Roger joined the 32d Division of the Wisconsin National Guard and was very proud of his military service. Roger was mobilized to Fort Lewis, Washington, in response to the Berlin Crisis. Sonja joined Roger in Washington where they lived in a very small home. When the 32d Division was preparing for their return to Wisconsin, Roger was held back at Fort Lewis until after their first child, Kenton, was born.
After Roger and Sonja’s return to Wisconsin they eventually settled in Altoona and expanded their family welcoming daughters Jill and Heidi. Roger worked hard to provide for his family. He worked in an auto parts store, a gas station, and worked his way up to Chief of the Altoona Volunteer Fire Department. He finished his working life as a handy man for Lutheran Social Services after retiring from a long career as Purchasing Agent for the Eau Claire County Highway Department.
Roger and Sonja were blessed with nearly 58 years of marriage, three children (Kent Bauer of Fall Creek, Jill (Perry) Wiesman of Green Bay, and Heidi Ender of Fall Creek), six grandchildren (Heather Zrnich, Jared & Callie Wiesman, Tim & Shane Ender, and Sarah Bauer), and three great grandchildren (Keira, Naomi, and Gabriel Zrnich). Roger was devoted to his faith, wife, three children and their families, and was a dedicated provider. He loved his family and family gatherings and was actively involved with them – even mentoring two of his grandsons in attaining their Eagle Scout badges.
Roger and Sonja loved to renovate homes and updated many properties throughout their years together. There were no roadblocks when it came to home renovations – only opportunities for improvements.
Roger loved to sing as a soloist and in a church praise team. He was part of a barbershop quartet and sang in a mixed choir that performed in Carnegie Hall. Roger also loved to play golf and was part of the senior men’s golf league at Hickory Hills in Eau Claire.
Roger was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona. He was very active in the church, serving several positions throughout the years and even built an altar and pulpit.
Roger was preceded in death by the love of his life Sonja in 2019, and daughter Jill Wiesman in 2021, along with his mother and father, older brother, and sister.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2245 Hayden Ave., Altoona with Pastor Tim Stein officiating. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post 53.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Roger here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.