Headstones at Arlington National Cemetery
Archive photo

Retired Staff Sgt. Harlan Dee Bauer

Retired Staff Sgt. Harlan Dee Bauer was born May 12, 1946, and passed away March 27, 2021, at the age of 74. Harlan and his twin brother Arlan were born in Humboldt, Nebraska, to Roy and Stella (Krenzel) Bauer. Like his siblings, he attended school in surrounding areas. He graduated with the class of 1964 from Powhattan High School. Harlan’s siblings are Donald (Lamonia), John (Leona), Harold (Carol), Darrell (Sara), Darlene Covert, Esther (Virgil) Koerperich, and Arlan (Debbie).

Harlan started work with Reece Construction Co, Scandia, Kansas, while he was still in high school under the supervision of his brother Harold. After graduation he became a member of the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard in Hiawatha. He was drafted and deployed to Vietnam in 1968 with the 25th Infantry Division. Bauer was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in the Republic of Vietnam.

He came home to Hiawatha in 1969 and returned to work with Reece Construction. Harlan retired from Reece Construction Co. as a superintendent in 1987. In 1988, Harlan started his employment with the city of Hiawatha. He retired as the city’s Water Department manager in 2010.

He was a member of The Zion Lutheran Church in Hiawatha.

Harlan adored his parents, cherished his siblings, and loved his nieces and nephews with all his heart. His dedication to his nieces and nephews was immeasurable. He was a strong influencer in the lives of his 27 nieces and nephews, 70 great-nieces and nephews, and 43 great-great nieces and nephews. He knew them all by name and by their birthdays, never missing an important event, and always there to lend advice and love. He was a second father to them all, and he will be dearly missed and honored by them all. He was a man that exemplified 1 Thessalonians 4:11; “… aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we have instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders…”

Harlan’s fascination for baseball was passed down to him from his father. In turn, he passed the love of the game to his extended family. Many St. Louis Cardinals games were watched at home, many games watched at the stadium with nieces and nephew tagging along, and many caps were worn celebrating the team. Memories that will never be forgotten.

A celebration of Harlan’s life is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Hiawatha. Pastor Mike Dunaway will officiate. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Hiawatha, with military honors a courtesy of Brown County Veterans Honor Guard.

Friends may call at the Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha after 10 a.m. Friday, April 2, where the family will meet friends from 4-7 p.m. Memorial contributions are suggested to Town and Country Ambulance Service, Hiawatha, The Wounded Warriors Project, or the Brown County Humane Society, sent in the care of the Chapel Oak Funeral Home, 124 S. 7th Street, Hiawatha, KS, 66434.

A special message may be sent to the family at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com. Livestreaming will be done thru the funeral home face book page: Chapel Oaks Hiawatha & Highland Ks.