Bauman loved and was loved by Senior Center
The sudden passing of South Adams Senior Center executive director Kathy Bauman has left this community and many residents in southern Adams County in shock and disbelief.
It was three years ago when Bauman was looking for God’s direction in her life. At the time, Linda Habegger, who served on the office staff at South Adams Senior Center, sowed a bug in the ear of Myrna Bauman, who was stepping down after a long run as South Adams Senior Center director.
When Myrna Bauman retired from South Adams Senior Center on Oct. 31, 2010, Kathy Bauman was waiting in the wings to assume responsibilities at the agency on Nov. 1 of that year.
Tuesday afternoon Myrna Bauman sat in the manager’s office at South Adams Senior Center with a look of shock and grief on her face. She had just learned a few hours earlier that Kathy Bauman had passed away from a shocking upper respiratory illness and heart failure.
Myrna Bauman had already been asked by South Adams Senior Center Board members to step back into a position she had held for many years, this time until decisions can be made about what to do with the seat vacated by Bauman’s sudden passing.
Prior to taking over the seat vacated by Myrna Bauman’s retirement, Kathy had served as Myrna’s assistant. When Myrna retired, everyone agreed that Kathy was a natural for the job.
“I was very comfortable with this position being turned over to Kathy,” recalled Myrna. “I knew that she would do a good job.
“She was filled with kindness and she was very compassionate,” continued Bauman. “She was good on computers. She had a very kind heart, a big heart; she was more concerned about everybody else other than herself.”
Bauman said that one thing she appreciated about her successor was the way that she would tackle challenges and take care of things.
“She wasn’t afraid to tackle things to make them better,” said Bauman.
Bauman said that Kathy brought a fresh look into the center with such classes as jewelry, baskets and card-making as well as energizing traditional programs such as bingo, cooking classes and senior luncheons.
Tuesday, a sense of shock throughout the community brought various reactions from those who had worked heart to heart with Bauman.
“The world has lost yet another great woman,” said Berne police officer, Earl Hough. “I can’t even begin to express what this lady has done for this world. She always had a kind word and was always smiling. Wow, she will be missed.”
“She always prayed before we ate,” commented Betty Scherrer, who volunteered along beside Bauman at dinners and senior events. “She was friendly with everybody; she was a very pleasant person to work with.”
Nancy Graber, who served on the South Adams Senior Center board referred to Bauman as a, “super lady,” and remarked, “I can’t begin to talk about this without crying.”
“She did so much for everyone. It was amazing the way she gave her time for the center,” said Graber. “She always had something of interest for the seniors. Her heart was in what she was doing.
“She was the kindest lady; she never had anything unkind to say about anyone,” continued Graber. “She brought a good variety of programs to the senior center. Those of us who worked with her really appreciated her.”
Both Evelyn Norr and Linda Habegger, who worked with Bauman on a day to day basis, couldn’t say enough good about their respected leader.
“I was impressed with how she knew so many people,” said Norr. “She was so very pleasant to work with. When she gave out responsibilities, she was always so complimentary of our work. She was always very cheerful. When anyone came through the door, she always told them how happy she was to see them.”
“Everybody loved her; she was a very positive person and very caring,” noted Habegger. “A lot of people are torn by this.
“She could do anything,” continued Habegger. “She had so many abilities. I know we aren’t supposed to ask, ‘why,’ but right now I am saying, ‘why?’ We really need her. She did so much for people. People were so important to her.”
Board member Van Wulliam described Bauman as, “a very nice person that everyone appreciated.
“She worked so hard,” said Wulliman. “We all liked working with her.”
Current board chairman Linda Lehman lauded Bauman’s conscientious approach to excellence in professionalism.
“She ran the senior center with the needs of the seniors in mind,” said Lehman. “She was always so bubbly and such a sweet-spirited person. It always made me happy to see people so happy and joyful around her. She had so much fun with all of the seniors.”
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