LACONIA — Ruth Byrd Tappan Bauer, 87, died on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at her home in LedgeView, Taylor Community, Laconia, after a long period of failing health.
She was born Jan. 13, 1925, on Hainan Island, located in the South China Sea, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, the Reverend David S. Tappan Jr. and Luella Rice Tappan. Ruth lived in China until she was 15-years-old, and was educated under her mother’s guidance for many years, later attending the Shanghai American School.
In 1940, the family returned to California where Ruth attended high school and college, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College in 1947. She then traveled by train to New York City, earned a master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University, and was employed by the New York City Mission Society.
She met Frederick E. Bauer Jr. at Camp Sharparoon, a summer camp operated by the Mission Society, and married him in June 1949. Ruth and Fred were a part of the Mount Hermon School community, where Fred taught, from 1949 until 1970. During this time, their children, Dorothy Anne, David Llewellyn, and James Frederick, were born.
Ruth worked as the director of Christian Education at the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield, Mass., participated in various volunteer activities, and then took courses at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to earn her Elementary Teaching Certificate.
In 1970, the Bauers relocated to Holden, Mass., and Ruth taught third grade in Barre, Mass. In 1984, the couple retired to their long-time summer home on Mirror Lake in Tuftonboro. Ruth then served as the Tuftonboro Town Librarian from 1984 to 1986 and was active in the Melvin Village Community Church and the Mirror Lake Community Church.
In 1993, Ruth and Fred moved to the Taylor Community in Laconia where they continued their volunteer and church activities. They helped establish the Taylor Community Library, now known as the Bauer Library.
Ruth was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma (education sorority), PEO Chapter G in Meredith, and the historical societies in Holden, Mass., Tuftonboro, and Laconia.
She also was a member of the Congregational Church of Laconia.
The Bauers were married for 59 years before Fred died in 2008.
Ruth gave generously of herself and showed her love for children in many contexts, especially in her family.
She is survived by her daughter, Dottie, and her husband, Jim Gardner, of Keene; son Jim and his wife, Lynn, of Minot, Maine; grandchildren Jocelyn Bauer Gardner Spencer and her husband, Matthew Gardner Spencer, of Arlington, Mass., Christine Bauer Jong and her husband, Matthew Jong, of Wilmington, Mass., Caroline Bauer of New Orleans, and Daniel Bauer Gardner; great-grandson Cameron Jong; nieces and nephews in California and Colorado; and many, many dear friends.
Her son, David, died in 1956. Her brother, David S. Tappan III, died in 2010.
There will be a celebration of her life at the Congregational Church of Laconia, 69 Pleasant St., Laconia, on July 28 at 2 p.m.
The family requests that, instead of flowers, contributions be made in Ruth’s honor to: Got Lunch, c/o Congregational Church of Laconia, 18 Veterans Square, Laconia NH 03246; Northfield Mount Hermon School, Revell Hall, One Lamplighter Way, Mount Hermon MA 01354; or Taylor Community Sunshine Fund, c/o Taylor Community, 435 Union Ave., Laconia NH 03246.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.