Rev. Robert Paul Bauer, Sr.
Rev. Robert Paul Bauer, Sr., 79, of Hayesville, known as “Pastor Paul” and beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, minister and friend, left his earthly home on June 20, 2017 to meet his Savior while surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Yankton, S.D. on Feb. 17, 1938, Paul grew up in the small town of Springfield, S.D. on the Missouri River. He was the son of Hugo and Ruth Smith Bauer who owned the local grocery store where Paul learned many valuable lessons about people and integrity. South Dakota remained close to his heart throughout his life and he often shared tales of the place and experiences there that guided his life.
Graduating from Springfield High School in 1956, Paul went on to Marion College, now Indiana Wesleyan University, and served as president of the Athletic Society and the senior class. He also traveled and sang with the Varsity Quartet. Following graduation from Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., he was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in Florida. After teaching adult and continuing education in Palm Beach County, and earning a second master’s degree in education at Florida Atlantic University, Paul entered full time ministry, serving numerous Florida churches.
Paul and Joanne Vivarttas married at Juno Beach UMC in 1971 and served numerous congregations together throughout his life.
Notably, he was the founding pastor of Hobe Sound UMC and served at Trinity UMC in Palatka, First UMC Bartow and UM Temple and Lakewood Park UMC in Lakeland. Paul considered himself an evangelical with a Bible-based ministry in teaching, preaching and music.
Pastor Paul often sang hymns in services and is particularly remembered for his moving version of “The Lord’s Prayer” by many who still hear its echoes even decades later. He enjoyed participating in the Singing Preachers at the Cherokee County Gospel Songfest and was an active participant in United Methodist Men’s activities.
Pastor Paul is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 46 years, Joanne Vivarrtas Bauer, three sons and one daughter-in-law, Robert Paul Bauer, Jr., of Hiawassee, Joel Andrew Bauer, of Hayesville, and Jonathan David Bauer, Sr. and his wife Tiffany Bauer, of Hiawassee. He will be deeply missed by his precious grandchildren with whom he loved to joke and play, Christina Moody, Christian, Kyla, Kara and Jonathan Bauer, Jr., Scott Meeks and Gavyn Moss and one great-grandson, Malakai Moody.
Other relatives include nephews Kevin and Kelly Bauer, niece Tammie Smith and sister-in-law Ardis Bauer.
Reverend Bauer was predeceased by his parents, his brother Ronald and a beloved daughter-in-law Toni Jaye Bauer (Robert Paul Bauer, Jr.).
A memorial service and celebration of Rev. Bauer’s life and ministry will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 9 at Bellview United Methodist Church, 247 Moccasin Creek Road in Murphy, where he served since 2009 and will be warmly remembered by many grateful congregants and friends.
Rev. Dennis Lewis, Pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Fort Myers, Fla., who was guided and mentored in ministry by Pastor Paul, will conduct the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Rev. Bauer’s memory to Bellview United Methodist Church, PO Box 1425, Murphy, NC 28906. They will meet with friends following the service at the church.
Mountain View Funeral Home: www.mountainviewfuneralhome.com, of Blairsville, is in charge of the arrangements.