Annie Halpin: Jay Bauer, a gentleman and a scholar |

Annie Halpin: Jay Bauer, a gentleman and a scholar

Annie Halpin

Those who knew Jay Bauer are bereft from losing a treasure. Those who weren’t blessed with knowing him may still benefit from the life lessons taught by this sterling man.

Jay’s generosity of spirit embraced all, without any semblance of snobbery despite his prominence in the community. Working with him provided the privilege of watching him interact with people from all walks of life. Some of those folks carried challenging attitudes, but Jay treated everyone with graciousness, courtesy and dignity, while sharing a sparkling wit that gently won over the most stubborn curmudgeons.

Jay’s boundless intellectual curiosity and teaching abilities made him a fascinating mentor and conversationalist. His office was like a museum full of intriguing books, maps, art and historical artifacts. He could entertain you with stories about everything in there. You never left an encounter with Jay without having learned something new.

Jay’s enthusiasm for life has already been noted, but deserves embellishment. He responded to his dire diagnosis with courage and humor. Jay embodied the concept of “live like you were dying” by making his last years a celebration of life that included marriage to his beloved Joni, whose praises he sang every day, and by embarking on a series of adventures with Joni, and delightful gatherings for his friends and colleagues. He lived out his borrowed time with exemplary vigor.

Jay was the consummate gentleman and scholar. His life as a leader and mentor was crowned by this last accomplishment: teaching us all to avoid burdening others with private pain or fear, but to live daily with honor and humor, curiosity and generosity, and sharing the warmth of friendliness and fun. Jay leaves a glittering trail, and as suggested, deserves a beautiful mountain trail to be named for him.

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