Obituary of Robert “Bob” Joseph Sauer
Robert “Bob” Joseph Sauer, World War II veteran and Nevada County logger, died on April 14, 2020 at the age of 92.
Robert was born in Minot, North Dakota on January 15, 1928 to Stella and Matt Sauer. He moved to Sweetland (South North San Juan), California with his family at the age of five and attended Sweetland Elementary and Nevada City High School. As a teenager, Robert worked after school with his father at the Miners Foundry making Navel engine parts for the war effort. He left school early to join the United States Navy during World War II and served as an Electrician’s Mate, First Class aboard the USS Appalachian for two years, during which time he witnessed the 3rd and 4th atomic bomb tests near Bikini Atoll.
When the war ended, Robert returned to Nevada County and married Bette A. Eisner. He secured the 13th California state logging license when he and Bette started R. J. Sauer and Sons Logging. One of his epic jobs was logging the extreme terrain of Squaw Valley in preparations for the 1960 Olympics. In the 1960’s, he specialized in harvesting and hauling poles for construction, bridge piling, and power poles. Day after day he would haul logs to the local sawmills, then wake up at 1:00 am to take a load of 60’ to 100’ poles to the Bay Area for pilings at the Webster Street Tunnel, San Mateo, and other bridge sites. In the 1970’s and beyond, he was an early adopter of sustainable logging as he worked alongside his son, Ed, nephew Don, and a small team throughout the Sierra Nevada range. Robert donated materials, time, and equipment to assist the local Little League and help create the Independence Trail. Each year, he and Bette would be sure Mount Saint Mary’s School had a Christmas tree in every classroom.
Robert was a lifetime member of the Grass Valley Elks Lodge,Board Member of the Association of California Loggers and a beloved part of the local logging community. He mentored many young woodsmen and was regarded for his daredevil maneuvers, creative problem-solving skills, lively storytelling, and grit. Robert loved his children and, upon retiring, devoted himself to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, earning him the distinguished designation of Best Grandpa Ever!
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Robert was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Bette, son Bobby Joe, son-in-law George Duehring, and five brothers: Alfred, Paul, Leonard, Arnold, and George. Robert is survived by his sister, Helen Campbell, children: Edward (Margo) Sauer, favorite daughter Rosemary Sauer-Duehring, and Anthony (Katherine) Sauer; his grandchildren, Stephanie (Rachel) Sauer, Krysta (Tyler) Blake, Austin Duehring, Aubrey Duehring-Nesbitt, Michael
Duehring, Colleen Thompson-Kuhn, and Laura Thompson-Kuhn; and three great-grandchildren, Duke and Penelope Blake, and Jackson Nesbitt
A funeral service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Robert’s family asks that any donations be made to Mt. St. Mary’s Academy or that you do something nice for a friend or stranger.
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