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Ernest "Ernie" Edwin Bauer

Ernest "Ernie" Edwin Bauer

Ernest "Ernie" Edwin Bauer, 78, died Monday, April 14, 2014, at his home in Bemidji with his family by his side, from complications due to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

Funeral Services will be 11:30 am Monday, April 21, 2014 at the St. Philips Catholic Church in Bemidji, MN with Mgsr. David Baumgartner officiating. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am and go until the time of service on Monday. Interment will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji, MN under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.

Ernie was born Feb. 3, 1936, in Beltramis OBrien Township to Earl and Rose (Seitz) Bauer. Growing up on the family farm, Ernie was deeply engrained with a strong work ethic and a great love of family. One of many lessons Ernie taught to those fortunate enough to live and work around him was that hard work more often than not resulted in great rewards. An expert woodsman, teenagers Ernie and his older brother Donald logged the woods of northern Minnesota with horses, dray and wagon to supplement family income. Ernies first job outside the family was working for the Ludwigson Potato Company in Bemidji, planting, tending and harvesting spuds by the car load. In 1957, Ernie married Charolett Long, the daughter of John and Marcella Long. Together they raised five girls. Ernie secured a job as a laborer at the Beltrami County Highway Department in 1958 for $1.25 an hour. In his 36-year career at the department, Ernie rose to the position of Engineering Supervisor, having taught himself, among other things, trigonometry and surveying techniques. He moonlighted during these years as an assistant surveyor to Wally Wubbles. His retirement in 1994 allowed him greater freedom to pursue his passions. Family and friends immediately got in line to secure his help in countless building projects. From clearing brush, to moving dirt, to pouring concrete to sawing and hammering, Ernie relished the hard physical labor and time in the outdoors the work afforded him. Ernie taught not by words, but by example. In recent years, Ernies body, but not his mind, slowed down, not from a lack of projects yet to be completed, but by the debilitating effects of the PSP disease. Ernie was born to hunt; a man with few equals in the woods, his sixth sense of animal behavior yielded many successful hunts not only for himself, but to those hunters fortunate enough to have him along in a party hunt. His participation (and guidance) often made the difference between dragging a deer back to be hung up by the hunting shack or merely trudging back in to camp to warm up by the fire. Though initially strictly a rifle hunter, his later discovery of the joy of archery opened up a whole new dimension to the sport he loved. A founding member of the Bemidji Archery Club, Ernie continued to be a supporting member long after he was able to pull back the bow.

Pallbearers will be his sons-in-law and nephews Tim Long and Jeff Long. Honorary pallbearers will be grandchildren, Tom Rutledge, Katie Rutledge, Steven MacKinnon, Erika MacKinnon, Josh Neft, Tony Smith and Kelli Smith.

He is survived by his wife, daughters Amanda (Don) MacKinnon, Audrey (Lawrence) Neft, Susan (Stuart) Wiegner, Brenda (Jon) Goecke and Terri (Marvin) Smith, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Nolan, Kendra, Madalyn, Russell and Spencer, sister Lila Long, sisters-in-law Pat Bauer and Joanne Bauer. He is preceded in death by grandson Chris Rutledge, his parents, brothers, Donald, Clinton and Kenneth, brother-in-law Raymond Long, sister-in-law Yvonne Bauer and nephew Mike Bauer.

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