Bauer, Otto F.
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Passed away in Iowa City on October 5, 2013. Otto was born on December 1, 1931, in Elgin, Illinois, to Otto Leland and Cora (Berlin) Bauer. He was a Hardy Scholar at Northwestern University, where he earned his Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D from the School of Communication. On May 27, 1956, he married Jeanette Erickson of Evanston, IL. While completing his doctorate, Otto served as a U.S. Air Force pilot. He graduated first in his pilot training class and logged more than 2000 flight hours, flying jets, bombers, and cargo aircraft while stationed in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Otto served on the faculty and administrations of the Air Force Academy, Bowling Green State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He was acting dean of student affairs at Berkeley during the 1969 campus riots, vice-chancellor and acting chancellor at UW-Parkside, and vice-chancellor for academic affairs at UNO. He participated in over 100 graduation ceremonies, conferring degrees on more than 50,000 students.
He was also involved in international education, working with the UNO Center for Afghan Studies to assist the State Department in rebuilding the school system in Afghanistan following the Soviet occupation, sharing the commencement stage with Imelda Marcos at the University of Manila, and giving the commencement address at the University of Nairobi.
Otto was an avid musician, playing the piano, accordion, and concertina - although he never learned to read sheet music. He was a steady runner throughout his life, and completed the second Chicago Marathon in 1978. His favorite pastimes were cutting trees and spending long hours fishing at the family's summer cottage in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1983, his battle was an inspiration to many as he continued his work at UNO as vice-chancellor and professor until his retirement in 2000. In retirement, he volunteered as a mediator for the Iowa Mediation Services. Even as the disease took its toll, his quick smile, sharp mind, and empathetic nature always shined through.
He received an honorary degree from Clarkson School of Nursing. Otto also published several books including the classic debate text, "Fundamentals of Debate: Theory and Practice" and his memoirs, "Lower Moments in Higher Education."
Otto is survived by his wife of 57 years Jeanette; two sons, Steven Mark (Denise) of Belvedere, CA, and Eric Paul (Karin) of Iowa City; his sister Darlene Cramsey of Elgin; and four grandchildren, Katherine, Natalie, Kristina, and Allyson. The family thanks Camila Talamilla for her heartfelt care the past 2 years, the VNA, and everyone at Mercy Hospice Care.
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE for Otto will be held from 4-7pm on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at The Kirkwood Room, next to Lensing Funeral Service in Iowa City. A brief remembrance ceremony will be at 4pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bauer-Erickson Scholarship Fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation at:
https://nufoundation.org/donate?fundId=01048970 Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com
LENSING FUNERAL SERVICE
605 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City, Iowa
Published in Omaha World-Herald on Oct. 10, 2013
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