RINDGE - John L. Kauer, 48, of Rindge, went home August 23, 2013, after a long fight with cancer. Born October 8, 1964, John was a transplant from Saginaw, MI, who became a fixture of his adopted community through Scouting and through his active participation in local politics.
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A devoted father of three: John, Mary, and Joe, he threw himself into their Scouting activities with unmatchable verve and energy. His smile, constant good humor, jokes and quiet wisdom made him the fun Scoutmaster. Learning how to turn a bag of corn chips into fire starters, make a tuna can stove and improve a trebuchet were just some of the skills he mastered and passed on to many. With engineering skills at his command, potato guns were created under his direction with capabilities far beyond their original intentions. He loved hiking and considered the Presidential range his personal challenge course, often with his children climbing alongside.
For years he was the Webmaster for the local scouting district and the man they turned to for just about anything having to do with the Internet or computer programming. John was recognized on multiple occasions for his volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting and he were a perfect fit. An avid outdoorsman, his idea of a great time included camping out for a canoe trip on the Connecticut River during a hurricane that left everything on the trip soaking wet for four days.
Climbing Monadnock was a weekend afternoon walk for him. When he couldn't climb anymore he continued with his weekly pick up of trash along Main Street from the town center to the bottom of the hill. His favorite evening activity was a backyard campfire, toasting marshmallows and looking at the stars. All of this he brought to his Scouting activities.
Being Webmaster for the Scouting district was a natural outgrowth of John's computer genius. Programming was his avocation and his actual job. He was known to remark that he had never worked a day since taking up computer programming because for him, it was all about the fun of writing code and figuring out how to make a computer do jobs no one else dreamed they could do. For him, it was a game -- a puzzle to be solved.
His yellow smiley face satellite dish on Main Street is a familiar landmark and an accurate hallmark of who John was. "Stay on the Sunny Side" was a little ditty his warm baritone voice could often be heard singing. His smiles, his jokes, his gentle teasing of the medical staff that oversaw his cancer treatment made him a favorite. Returned smiles and choruses of "Hey John" and "We've missed you" were his greeting at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center-Kingsbury Pavilion. He faced his greatest adversary with a smile and a firm set of goals, never wavering from his belief that he would get through this and achieve what he had set out to do. He had his belief in God and a quietly devoted prayer life that gave him strength as he fought cancer.
The Rindge Select and Planning Boards were very familiar with John. He was an ardent advocate for using what was available -- the taxpayers' champion. Because of his penchant for working with numbers, much of his focus was on the town budget. But he would also speak up on other issues. He took the New England way of town governance to heart and exercised his citizenship duties regularly.
John left behind his father, Lynn, his mother, Joan, his stepmother, Crystal, his sister Renee, his ex-wife Beverly, and his three children John, Mary, and Joseph. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, fellow Scouters and work associates. The world is a little less sunny without him.
Family and friends are invited to gather and visit with John's family on Friday, August 30, 2013 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Saint Patrick Church, 89 Main Street, Jaffrey.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Patrick Church. Rev. Wilfred Deschamps, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery in Rindge.
Please visit his memorial at www.cournoyerfh.com.
Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center
33 River Street
Jaffrey, NH 03452-0486
Published in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on Aug. 27, 2013