Clifford “Cliff” Arthur Bauer, 87, a long-time resident of Keene died on Monday, July 31, 2017 in the comfort of his home at Bentley Commons.
Clifford was born the son of the late Irma (Sell) and Victor A. Bauer on February 18, 1930 at home in Wayne Township, Wisconsin. He graduated from West Bend High School, class of 1948, and then attended the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture. Cliff had to curtail his studies and return to operate the family dairy farm because his father had become ill. On October 27, 1951, he married his college sweetheart, Helene Bunce, daughter of Elsworth and Hazel Bunce of Peterborough, NH at the Unitarian Church of Peterborough. He and his new bride then returned to the family farm in Wisconsin. Helene’s parents missed their daughter, so in 1955, her father lured them to New Hampshire with the prospect of Cliff operating a Ford Tractor dealership.
Cliff became the President of Keats Inc., a dealer of Ford New Holland Tractors and Equipment and GMC trucks in Keene. Eventually, he and brother in-law, John Bunce, developed a state-of-the-art tractor dealership on Production Avenue in Keene. They co-founded Production Realty to develop the land purchased for this endeavor, creating what is now the Rt. 9 Production Avenue Industrial Park that houses the Subaru Dealership and other businesses. Cliff and his wife Helene, Secretary-Treasurer of Keats, Inc., worked side by side in this family business for decades, along with their son Jeff. During those years, Cliff served as a President of the New England Equipment Dealers Association, and won various Ford and GMC top sales awards.
Cliff was a man with great integrity and a big heart. Beyond his very busy business life, he always found time for family and supporting his community.
Cliff was a member of the United Church of Christ in Keene for many years, serving on multiple church committees and holding various offices within the church. He took great pride in being a deacon and enjoyed his personal relationship with God.
Cliff was also extremely committed to the Cheshire County YMCA and Camp Takodah. Cliff was especially involved in the Properties Committee, donating his time and equipment, and contributing to the Camp for the benefit of area children. He served on the Cheshire YMCA Board of Directors in numerous positions, and as a Senior Director. In 1996, he was the recipient of the Harold Dickinson Award for outstanding service to the Cheshire County YMCA.
Cliff first became involved with the Cheshire County YMCA through participating in the Father & Son Indian Guide program. It was a program in which fathers & sons participated together in hunting, fishing and camping.
Members of the program went on to establish a competitive Rifle Club, which later expanded its membership to include daughters. The fathers and spouses became close friends and created their own social club, called the “Rye Pond Association”, providing many fond memories and lasting friendships.
Cliff enjoyed boating, fishing in the “Big Lakes,”, and hunting. He loved snowmobiling, belonging to both the Chesterfield and Keene Snowmobile Clubs. They travelled widely while snowmobiling, including many trips to Canada, Pittsburg, NH., and Yellowstone National Park.
His time with his wife Helene was special. They loved dancing – especially Polkas and square dancing. They enjoyed travelling throughout Europe and the Caribbean. After retirement, they purchased a RV and travelled cross country. Later in life they especially loved cruises with family and friends and closer to home they delighted in having family gatherings at the lake – first at Hunts Pond, and later their own cottage on Spofford Lake.
He is survived by his wife Helene Bauer of Keene; his son Jeffrey C. Bauer and his partner Patricia Smith of Spofford, his daughters; Nancy J. Shaw and her husband Charles of Marlborough, and Anne B. Parsons and her husband Edward of Windham; and Steven V. Bauer and his wife Brenda Stowe of Gilford, as well as a sister, Joyce Gerlach of Cascade, WI, in-laws; Mary Ellen Reed of Jacksonville, FL and John Bunce and his wife Elizabeth Ann (Luitwieler) of Nelson. He also leaves grandchildren from combined marriages: Laura Miles, Mike Shaw, Daniel Shaw, Suzanne Mussen, Nicholas LaPointe, Samantha Bauer, Rachel Bauer, Hazel Bauer, Heidi Hurt, Kristen Hurt, great grandchildren: Isla and Calum Miles; Morgan, Sophie, and Harrison Shaw, Matthew Mussen, Auri LaPointe; Riley Bauer, and Zooey Hurt; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and numerous friends. Cliff is pre-deceased by his brother in-laws Horton Reed and Edwin Gerlach; and daughter in-law Bonnie (Ridley) Bauer.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, August 19, from 9:30 to 11am with a celebration of life service to follow at 11am, in the Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow at the Monadnock View Cemetery, Arch St. Keene, NH. 03431.
Flowers will gladly be accepted; however, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Clifford A. Bauer to: Cheshire County YMCA Camp Takodah, Facility or Camper Scholarship Fund, 32 Lake St., N. Swanzey, NH. 03431.
A special thank you to the staff at Bentley Commons in Keene for their loving care and support.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com