BEND, Ore. — Phyllis E. Bauer went to be with God on March 23, 2021, just 17 days before her 101st birthday. She passed away peacefully with caring family, friends, and much love all around her. All who knew her describe Phyllis as a kind, welcoming, and loving person. She was gracious and had a strong belief in God, accepting Jesus as her Savior and into her heart. She was an amazing friend and great cook, always ready to try a new recipe. She loved to read and was an accomplished artist and painter. She was a loving wife and mother and a super fun grandmother. Her bright blue eyes, infectious smile and frequent laugh delighted all around her. Phyllis was always busy and engaged in the community. She volunteered in the SMART reading program at various schools in Sunriver and Bend, Ore., was an active member of PEO for 56+ years, and loved playing bridge, which she continued to do until she was 100 years old. She also loved to travel.
Phyllis Edna Gesine Witzel was born April 9, 1920, in Ashton, the middle child of Adam and Anna Witzel. After high school, at the age of 17, she attended the University of Illinois and graduated in 1941 with a B.S. degree In Nutrition, Dietetics, and Chemistry. In 1942 she interned in Dietetics at The University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. Then she took her first job in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as a Diet Therapist. It was there, while in the hospital recovering from appendicitis, that she met the tall, dashing Donald Bauer, an intern in medicine assigned to her surgery floor. They married in July of 1943 on Long Island and moved to Durham, N.C. where Phyllis worked in Diet Therapy and Don was a resident in Pathology. The following year Don was called into the Army as a first Lieutenant Medical Corps and was sent overseas to Belgium, France, and then Germany. For the first two years of his service Phyllis stayed in Illinois, but in 1946, after the war ended, she went with their 1-year-old daughter, Pam, to Heidelberg, Germany to join Don for his final year of service. They returned to the U.S. in 1947. Over the course of their 50 years of marriage, Phyllis and Don had five children and moved nine times. She loved every place she lived and made many friends along the way. Phyllis lived in her own home in Bend until she was 99. Tired of the chores of homeownership, she moved into the wonderful residential facility of Whispering Winds where she continued to meet new friends and renew old friendships.
Every place they lived both Don and Phyllis were always active in their church. They attended Hollywood Presbyterian Church for many years, served on the International Christian Scholarship Foundation, and belonged to other Christian groups and bible studies.
Phyllis is survived by her five children, Pam Mueller (Michael), Jack Bauer (Carolyn), Rebecca Bauer (Greg Baker), Annie Bauer, (Dan Melcon, deceased), Donald Bauer (Wendy); eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Community Bible Church in Sunriver, Ore.
Donations can be made in memory of Phyllis to: Partners in Care 2075 NE Wyatt Ct. Bend, OR 97702, or at their Website www.partnersbend.org for the new Hospice House.