CARL W. ‘WIMPY’ BAUER
“Never, Never, Never. Give Up”
Carl “Wimpy’ Bauer, 79, departed this earthly life on June 11, 2013, having fought the good fight and living life to the fullest. He rests in peace, having donated his earthly body to medical research and therefore respectfully requests his family and friends to resist mourning his passing and instead celebrate the life he lived and enjoy the memories he leaves. Friends will gather at Asbury United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 14. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. followed by a reception in the Asbury Fellowship Hall.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Mary Jane Peacher Bauer, six wonderful children, and eight adored grandchildren: Carla R. Bauer, of Atlanta, Georgia, Margaret D. Bauer and her partner, Andrew Morehead, and his children, Erin, Griffin, and Aidan Morehead, of Greenville, North Carolina; Irene Bauer Casper, her husband. Trevor Casper and their two sons. Evan Bauer Casper and Thomas Bauer Casper, of Lafayette; Theodore Norman (Ted) Bauer, his wife, Cassie, and her son, Taylor, of Lafayette; daughter Kelli Heymann Dautreuil, her husband, Bryan, and their three children. Cadee, Gracee and Alex, of Cecilia; son, Blake R. Heymann, his wife Kristi Trail, and their two children, Madeline Jane and Owen Heymann, of New Orleans.
Carl Bauer was born in Centerville on October 4, 1933, named Carl Packard Wiegmann, as the third son of Fred and Mary Packard Wiegmann. His biological parents divorced a few years later and Carl was placed in a foster home in Alpine, Texas, at the age of five. This foster hone was managed by a distant cousin, Margaret Wooster Bauer, whose aunt, Elma Wooster Bauer Boudreaux, took care of five-year-old Carl until he was twelve. He then returned to Louisiana, initially as the foster child of Margaret Wooster Bauer and her husband, R. Norman Bauer, both lawyers in their mid-forties and without children. The Bauers formally adopted Carl the following year and changed his name to Carl Wiegmann Bauer.
Carl ejoyed life in Franklin as the only child of Margaret and Norman Bauer, blessed from the moment he entered their home as only a loved child could be. He carried their name proudly from the day of his adoption until death, always remembering just how fortunate he was to have such loving parents who gave him not only their revered name but the rearing and wisdom which comes only from truly loving families.
Upon graduating from Franklin High School in 1951, Carl enrolled at Louisiana State University, where he completed his undergraduate work and the first year of Law School in 1955. Having completed the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at LSU, he was then called to active duty, to be trained as a navigator at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas. He received his Air Force wings and was stationed in Waco, Texas, Panama City, Florida and Sacramento, California before being released from active duty in 1957, at which time he returned to LSU to complete his legal education in order to join the law firm of his father, Norman, and beloved uncle, Theodore (known as the Major), practicing in the name of Bauer and Bauer, Attorneys at Law.
Carl’s father, Norman, was a well known and highly respected political figure dating back to the Huey Long era during which he adamantly opposed the Long political machine and political philosophy. Carl, at the age of 14, was a page in the Louisiana House of Representatives where the elder Bauer served as Speaker of the House under Governors Sam Jones and Jimmy Davis. This was a life changing experience for a young boy and apparently the ‘political bug’ severely infected the younger Bauer who, in 1965, entered a special election race for a vacant seat in the House of Representatives, representing St. Mary Parish, the same parish his father had served with admirable distinction. Carl won that election, completed the unexpired term of two years, and then successfully ran for a full term in a newly created district which included Iberia Parish.
Carl served four full years in the House of Representatives under the Administration of Governor John McKeithen. He championed many causes of good government while in public office and tirelessly promoted funding for four-laning US Highway 90 from Lafayette to New Orleans. He continued this highway interest and determination after leaving public office through dedicated efforts towards transforming Highway 90 to Interstate standards as a continuation of I-49.
In 1972, Carl ran unopposed for a new senate district, and then served his beloved Louisiana for a full term. Carl completed his Senate term and closed his active political career, with his honesty and integrity remaining intact and the Bauer name untarnished in Louisiana politics.
At the age of 57, Carl joined the staff of the President of USL, Dr. Ray Authement, as the Coordinator of Governmental Relations, where he resumed his service to the state he loved in this new capacity until shortly after Dr. Authement’s retirement nearly twenty years later. Carl once told Mary Jane how surprised he was to be regularly paid for doing something he enjoyed so much.
Carl Bauer lived a long, active, and varied life full of love, opportunity, people, and experiences. He had a successful law practice, numerous business interests, unprecedented career opportunities, and a wonderful family, along with a multitude of friends. His professional career included membership on many influential boards of directors, including several banks, a savings and loan, a sugar processing company, a couple of property development companies, the Lafayette Economic Development Association, the Louisiana Enterprise Center, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf and Great Plains Legal Foundation, in addition to several private land holding companies. While in the practice of law he served the State Bar Association in both the House of Delegates and on the Board of Governors. In 1968 he was President of the LSU Foundation. He also later served several years as a member of the board of the USL Foundation. Carl was involved in the Boy Scouts, and was a long time member and Past Chairman of the Board of Goodwill of Acadiana. While still in Franklin he served on and chaired both the Administrative Board and the Trustees of the First Methodist Church and after moving to Lafayette was an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church. He was a Master Mason, a Shriner, and a member of Rotary.
Carl W. Bauer received much from his two marriages, including the love and devotion of six remarkable children, four of his own blood and two by virtue of a superb marriage to Mary Jane, whom he loved beyond belief. His blessings multiplied with the births of his eight marvelous grandchildren, each of whom he adored as they mutually adored their “Poppy.” While he experienced his share of heartache, including the loss of his sight in recent years, he never lost sight of the positives in his life. Carl Bauer was a very positive person who left this world firmly convinced that life is good, family is love, friends are priceless, and God has blessed America.
In the spirit of celebrating his life, the family suggests, in lieu of flowers, contributions to the Carl and Mary Jane Bauer Family Fund established by them with the Community Foundation of Acadiana, 1035 Camellia Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70508 as a perpetual source of funding for needed programs and/or projects in South Louisiana.