Jay Bauer: a legacy of wit and service | SummitDaily.com

Jay Bauer: a legacy of wit and service

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc
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After a courageous battle with cancer, long-time Summit County attorney John Albert “Jay” Bauer, of Dillon Colorado, succumbed to the disease on March 2. He was 65.

Jay was born in Chicago in 1945 to Albert and Gloria Bauer. His family moved to the Denver area in 1946. Jay graduated from Jefferson High School in Edgewater in 1963. In 1967, Jay graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in economics. Jay’s educational pursuits were put on hold when he was drafted into the Army. Jay was proud of his military service, serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry from 1969-1971 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Jay graduated from the University of Colorado law School in 1973 and soon thereafter established a law practice in Breckenridge, where he has been ever since. Throughout his career Jay’s practice covered a wide spectrum of the law, and Jay was considered by his peers to be one of the preeminent real estate attorneys in Colorado. For many years Jay provided continuing education presentations to other lawyers at the annual Colorado Real Estate Symposium. Over the course of his career, Jay was a member and officer of many professional organizations including the Colorado Bar Association; the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, the Colorado Real Estate Section, the Colorado Real Estate Commission Approved Forms Committee; the Summit County Bar Association; senior faculty member of Colorado Association of Realtors; Chairperson of the Colorado Inter-professional Committee; and past president of the Continental Divide Bar Association, to name just a few. Jay was also a licensed real estate broker.

Jay provided employment, mentoring and friendship for many people over his 37 years of practicing law and was recently referred to by a former law firm attorney as the “best boss I ever worked for.” The office Christmas card was an annual tradition, and firm outings included horseback riding, carriage rides around Breckenridge, Rockies’ games and clambakes. While being businesslike was important to Jay, he always maintained his trademark sense of humor and congeniality. Universally known as a nice guy, Jay brought this endearing trait to the office, and all of his endeavors, on a daily basis. About the strongest word he ever used was “knucklehead.”

Jay’s contributions to the community were also well known and far reaching. He was a loving father and an active supporter of his son Rick’s ski racing and his son Jeff’s bike riding and gave the commencement speech at Rick’s high school graduation from Summit High School. Jay was a member of the Rotary Club of Summit County since 1977, and past president, where his contributions included the creation or participation in such well- known charitable events as the Health Fair, the Ice Melt Contest, the Ice Princess Contest, the Ice Ball and the BBQ at the Summit. Over the years, Jay was well known outside of legal circles for his auctioneering and emceeing activities on behalf of local charitable organizations including the Summit Foundation, the Steadman Hawkins Foundation, Team Summit, the Carriage House, the Summit Huts Association and many others. Jay was a founder and president of Improve the Summit, Unlimited; a founder and Steering Committee member of Leadership Summit; member and chairperson of the Summit County Home Rule Charter Commission; and a member of the Summit County Chamber of Commerce, which recently awarded him the Ben Fogel Award.

Jay was well known for his quick wit and sense of humor. For several years, he was co-host of a local Summit County radio handyman program known as Half-Way Handy. Jay and co-host Bob Moore were awarded the Best Talk Show Personality Team in 2001 by the Colorado Broadcaster’s Association for the show.

Jay had many and far-ranging hobbies and interests. He was an accomplished sailor and enjoyed teaching others how to sail. Another of Jay’s passions was cycling. Over the last few years, Jay took long bike trips with close friends including a ride from Bogaloosa, Alabama to Saint Augustine, Florida; a ride from Anacortes, Washington to Crescent City, California, and a ride from the Four Corners area to Santa Fe, New Mexico and then back to the Great Sand Dunes National Park; and during a trip to France he rode part of the Tour de France route. This coming summer, he had planned to ride his bike from Yellowstone National Park to Summit County. He frequently biked from his home in Summit Cove to the office in Breckenridge during the summer, and biking to work on Bike to Work Day was an annual event at the office. One of Jay’s latest projects was building a birdhouse with the young children who lived next door, carefully locating the completed birdhouse between their two houses so it could be seen from the windows of both houses.

Jay is survived by his wife Joanne “Joni” Bauer; his sons Jeff Bauer of Dallas, Texas, Rick Jones (Andrea and Reagan) of Cave Creek, Arizona, Ryan Soberay of Bay Village, Ohio and Adam Soberay of Denver; his mother Gloria Bauer of Denver; his sistersSusan Johnston (Warren) of Aurora, Dori Harrell (Al) of Denver, and Donna Bauer of Davenport, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews He was predeceased by his father Albert Bauer.


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