Col. Charles J. Bauer (Ret.), Purple Heart recipient
Col. Charles J. “Charlie” Bauer, 86, of Lewes, died Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
He was born May 26, 1928, in New York City. He was soon orphaned and was raised in a foster home in Brooklyn, N.Y., along with his twin brother Ernie. Older sister Margaret and younger brothers George and Ben were cared for by family members. In 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marines; in 1946 he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army. He became a warrant officer in 1949 and commissioned a second lieutenant Aug. 2, 1951. He served 33 years in the Army, and in the course of a distinguished career achieved the rank of colonel. He commanded units in battle in Korea and Vietnam. A decorated veteran, he received the Order of the Purple Heart three times for wounds in combat; he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross; the Bronze Star with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Silver Star for heroism in battle in Vietnam. He was a Master Parachutist serving with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Prior to retirement he served as commander in the Panama Canal Zone and representing U.S. military interests in Bogota, Colombia. A high school dropout, he went on to earn a master’s degree in personnel management from George Washington University.
After his military career, he founded, along with son Charles Jr., a successful microfilm and imaging service bureau in the Washington, D.C. area, and was a noted luminary in the records management and archiving science field for several decades. He retired from professional life in 1995. In retirement, he continued to be active in church and family life.
Charlie (also known affectionately as “Pia”) married Edna Mary Gengenbach of New York Aug. 11, 1951. He is survived by Edna ("Ed"), and children Chuck, Rick, Patty, Bob, Maggie and Mary. These children and their spouses have given Charlie and Ed 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves a legacy of generosity, unconditional love and a deep faith in his Lord Jesus Christ. Charlie had a tremendous wit and sense of humor and we will miss the laughter.
A funeral service with full military honors is planned at Ft. Myer, Va., with internment at Arlington National Cemetery, at a date to be determined. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel in Lewes.