Joan Bauer O’Hara was escorted by Angels & our Blessed Mother to her heavenly home on the Holy Day & Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), which characterizes her 95 years of faith & serving the Lord. She was surrounded by her 7 children who prayed as she entered her new adventure of being reunited with her husband, Francis Xavier O’Hara.
Joan, a country girl at heart, was born in Underwood, N. Dakota on Oct. 6, 1921 to Calix Francis Bauer & Theresa Kunigunde (Reuter) Bauer. She was enfolded within a family of 5 siblings: older brother Burnett Bauer & sister Callista Whiting (deceased), followed by Mary Jo Ederer, Rita Rank & Calix Bauer. Her husband, Frank, was a city slicker from New York & when she met her charming “Fighting Irishman” in South Bend, IN, history was made. They were married for 39 years until his early death in 1989.
Prior to marriage & her brood of children, Joan graduated high school from Good Counsel Academy in Mankato, MN in 1939 & crowned Miss Posture Beauty Queen. Joan went on to earn an academic scholarship and graduated in 1943 from the College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN) with a BA in English (Speech) & 2 minors in Drama & Philosophy. Teaching was her passion and she honed her English & P.E. skills in Minnesota for the St. Cloud High School District, Long Prairie High School District & Lakefield School District. Stories of how she made a difference in young lives with what little they had were touching, educational and have withheld the test of time. Most important, Joan left a deep, profound imprint of how a Catholic lady should conduct her life no matter the obstacles.
Joan is survived by her 7 children: Mary “Mimi” O’Hara, Maura Unruh (Greg), Catherine “Katie” O’Hara, Rita Duyn, Peter O’Hara, Greg O’Hara, Padraic “Pat” O’Hara (Kris); and 9 grandchildren: Dr. Erin O’Hara, Emily Unruh, Hannah Unruh, James Unruh, Kevin O’Hara, twins Colleen & Calix O’Hara, Shannon O’Hara and Jack O’Hara.
Services will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 20th. Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM at San Rafael Catholic Church, Rancho Bernardo, followed by the Committal service at Dearborn Memorial Park, Poway.
In lieu of flowers, Joan has asked donations be made to one of her favorite charities: College of St. Benedict, www.givecsb.com; Maryknoll Fathers, www.maryknollsociey.org; St. Vincent de Paul/Fr. Joe’s Villages, www.my.neighbor.org