Winfred “Punk” Bauer: 1938-2020
Winfred “Punk” Bauer of Vale, SD, passed away peacefully on April 14, 2020, at Monument Health Sturgis Lippold Hospice in Sturgis, SD. He was born to Winfred and Florence (Bennefeld) Bauer on July 18, 1938, in Ada, MN.
Punk was baptized and confirmed at Pleasant View Lutheran Church in Pleasant Valley Township near Ada, MN. He went on to graduate from Ada High School in 1956, and during his time there was very active in both 4-H and FFA. After graduation, he began farming the third- generation farm with his father while establishing a herd of registered Black Angus cattle. Punk’s interest in raising and showing Black Angus was cultivated under the guidance of his dear friend Floyd Myers, who was like a brother to him.
On March 10, 1965, Punk married Diana (Miller) Bauer and in true cattleman fashion, they spent their honeymoon at the Valley City Stock Show. Their family was blessed with three children, all of whom he enjoyed spending time with while teaching the art of showing cattle and working with horses. Punk never forgot his love for Angus cattle and always stayed current on what was happening in that industry.
Punk moved his family and cattle herd to Vale, SD, in 1982 where he continued his love for farming and ranching. Many trips were made back and forth between Minnesota and South Dakota over the years to stay connected with family and friends. He always said he never regretted the move to South Dakota, and his family wholeheartedly agreed with him. It was an adventure for him in this ranching country, most especially meeting and making lifelong friends with neighbors and fellow cattle producers.
Punk worked for Butte County as the Weed and Pest Supervisor for many years and retired in 1999. After retirement, he served for three years on the South Dakota Weed and Pest Commission. During his retirement, he enjoyed his irrigated alfalfa farm, feeding a few cattle and dabbling in the sheep business.
Along with the move to South Dakota, he came to be interested in Western history and became quite knowledgeable on the subject. Punk was a voracious reader and read everything he could about ranching history and how the big ranches shaped and influenced ranching country. This interest led to his passion for collecting Old West memorabilia which he enjoyed doing until his passing. Through this love of old cowboy lore, he became involved with some wonderful people and was an integral part of the “Cowboy Heritage Collectable Auction” that was held during the Rapid City Stock Show from 1994-2014. He was honored by the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation with the “Gathering the History” award and was granted an honorary lifetime membership. In 2014, he was inducted in to the National Bit, Spur, Saddle Collector Association Hall of Fame for his contributions to the NBSSCA.
He is survived by his wife, Diana Bauer. They were blessed to have celebrated 55 years of marriage on March 10, 2020. He is survived by three children, John Bauer (special friend, Judi) of Jackson, WY, James Bauer of Columbus, NM, and Teresa (Robert) Huston of Valdez, AK; he lives on through his grandchildren, Jesse Bauer, Jordan Bauer and Taylor Huston.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Florence in 1969, and his father, Winfred, Sr. in 1981.
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