Joel Fletcher Bauer was born on June 17, 1953, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Joel lived in New Orleans and Crowley, Louisiana, Ellisville, Mississippi and Houston, Texas before moving overseas to The Hague, The Netherlands. He returned to Houston, Texas, graduated from Bellaire High School, and attended the University of Houston. He traveled extensively in Europe while living there and later visiting his parents in Southeast Asia.
Joel was a popular student and remembered as a fierce competitor in baseball and football. He was on the Bellaire HS diving team and played hockey in high school. As a young child, Joel was fun, mischievous and always had a happy, laughing spirit. Joel loved sports; quickly excelling at each one he tried. When his friends wanted to get together a sandlot game, Joel was the first one called and if Joel were coming, everyone would follow.
In his early twenties, Joel was stricken with schizophrenia. He lived the last thirty years of his life at Discovery 4, a facility for patients where he could come and go freely in Los Angeles, California. He always talked of his friends from his high school and college years in Houston.
Joel was preceded in death by his father, Nathan E. Bauer and survived by his mother, Mary Alice F. Bauer of Wimberley, Texas; and siblings Dr. Nathan E. Bauer, Jr. and wife, Rhonda of College Station, Texas; Gwen McLeod and husband Angus of San Antonio, Texas; Dr. Jill Gabrielsen and husband Ed of Norway, Maine; and numerous nephews, nieces, aunts, and uncles.
He died peacefully on April 16th of lung cancer in San Antonio. A private memorial will be held for the immediate family at a later date.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 17, 2011.