Lawrence E. Bauer, 86, of Oliverea died peacefully Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014 at home.
Born November 19, 1927 in Brooklyn, Larry was the son of Herman and Gertrude (Sparrow) Bauer. He grew up on Long Island and after attending the University of Michigan, was graduated from Hofstra University. As a child, Larry suffered with a severe stutter, which he eventually overcame through his love of music and work with the University of Michigan radio station. He attended Camp Tarigo in Fleischmanns in 1939 and his passion for rural life in the mountains eventually led him to settle in the Catskills.
After college, he entered the family fabric business and started a long career in sales. An avid skier and accomplished ski patroller, Larry became the national sales manager for Head Ski Clothing in the 1960s. His territory included the Catskill Region and when he told his customer John McGrath, that he wanted to buy a home, he was pointed to the Oliverea Valley and settled there in 1968.
In the 1970s he helped to found Puckihuddle there. The business manufactured early American home decorating items, all sewn by local women and sold them wholesale, retail, and through catalogs, all over the United States. At its peak, Puckihuddle employed 125 local seamstresses.
An early member of the Shandaken Theatrical Society, Larry performed in many plays and helped stage high school musicals at Onteora. He was a member of the Shandaken Planning Board, served on numerous local and regional advisory councils and was a board member of the Shandaken Area Chamber of Commerce. His volunteer work led him to become a substitute teacher at both Onteora Central and Margaretville Central schools.
At the age of 60, Larry earned a Master’s Degree in American Literature at SUNY New Paltz and became a full-time teacher of high school English at Onteora, where he taught until his retirement in 2000.
An avid dancer, fisherman and collector of music, fine art, and American Folk Art, Larry was a great showman. While with Head, he staged international fashion shows at sites like the Winter Garden Theater in New York. In Oliverea, he staged quilt and antique festivals that attracted thousands of visitors. A lover of people, Larry made friends easily and kept most of them for a lifetime.
For 14 years, Larry lived with Alzheimer’s disease, never losing his sense of humor or zest for life and enjoying meals, music and socializing with anyone who had time to stop for a chat.
Larry is survived at home by his wife Joan Lawrence-Bauer, and by two grand nephews, Jonathan and Shane Ballard. His son, Peter S. and daughter-in-law, Nancy Bauer of Georgia, daughter, Jamie Bauer of New Mexico and step-daughter and son-in-law, Kate and John Van Benschoten of Margaretville also survive. Grandchildren Grayling and Elon Bauer and LilliAnn and Bella Van Benschoten survive him, as do his sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Mort Mitchell and their children, Paul, Phil, and Craig Mitchell.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hynes Funeral Home in Margaretville. There will be calling hours at the funeral home on Saturday evening from 4 to 6 p.m.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be held at Cold Spring Lodge, 530 Oliverea Road, Big Indian, on Sunday, June 29, at 1 p.m. All are welcome to come and share their memories of Larry.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Margaretville Health Foundation or to the Big Indian Beautification Committee will honor Larry and be deeply appreciated by his family.
Margaretville Health Foundation, 42084 State Highway 28, Margaretville, NY 12455. Big Indian Beautification Committee c/o Martie Gailes, PO Box 10, Big Indian, NY 12410.