ATHENS- Robert R. (Bob) Baur, age 92, passed away August 16 at the Laurel's in Athens, Ohio, after a long fun, fulfilling, and successful life.
Bob was born and raised in Bellevue, Ohio, where he was a star basketball player and Vice-President of his Senior Class. After graduation from high school, Bob came to Athens, Ohio, in 1940 to play for Ohio University on a basketball scholarship. While attending Ohio University, he met his future wife, Shirley Cavanaugh.
His education at Ohio University was interrupted by WWII. He entered the Army in the fall of 1942 and attended Officer Candidate School where he graduated as a 2nd lieutenant. In 1943, Bob and Shirley married and shortly after that, he was transferred to the Pacific where he led a platoon in the invasion of the Philippines and subsequently in the occupation of Japan. While serving in the South Pacific, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman's badge, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart.
After the war, Bob returned to Athens to complete his education at Ohio University. He graduated in 1948 and went to work at The McBee Company in Athens. He also continued his passion for athletics by officiating local high school football and basketball games. His officiating career matured into the college ranks and in 1963, he was asked to join the new American Football League as an official. In 1968, he officiated the 2nd American Football League versus National Football League Championship game which later became know as the Superbowl. Also in late 1963, Bob joined the Houck and Reed Insurance Agency which later became the Reed and Baur Insurance Agency.
Throughout his life, Bob was involved in Ohio University Athletics, was a founding member of the Ohio University Green and White Club, was a member of the Athens City School Board, and held various offices at the Athens Country Club. Bob was a member of Saint Paul's Catholic Church and the Knight's of Columbus. He was also a member of various service and veterans organization including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, The Athens Elks Lodge, and the AmVets. He retired from the National Football League in 1977 and was honored by the City of Athens through the Mayor's Declaration of "Bob Baur Day" and given a key to the City.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Rose Baur, his brother Julius (Corky) Baur, his cousin and mentor Philo Baur, and an infant daughter Dawn Ellen Baur.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Baur, his three children and their spouses, Randy Baur, Dan and Susie Baur, and Cathy and Tim Loughran; his five grandchildren and their spouses, Bryan and Nancy Baur, Kevin and Randi Baur, Rick and Laura Baur, Timmy and Jill Loughran, and Megan Loughran; and his five great-grandchildren Parker, Lyndon, Katelyn, Matthew, and McKenzie.
Funeral Mass will be recited Wednesday 10 a.m. at St. Paul's Catholic Church, College and Mill Sts., Athens, with Father Mark Moore as celebrant. Following the Mass, a celebration of Bob's life will be held at the Athens Elks Lodge, 600 W. Union St., Athens.
Friends may call Tuesday 6-8 p.m. at Jagers and Sons Funeral Home, Athens. A graveside service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Athens County Chapter of the American Red Cross, 100 S. May Ave., Athens, Ohio 45701.
Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com.