Virgin Mary

Joanne E. Bauer

March 22, 1929 ~ January 4, 2021 (age 91)


Joanne E. Bauer, age 91, passed away peacefully on January 4, 2021. Joanne was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend who was loved by all that knew her.  She was born in South Bend to the late Helen and Andrew Kopsca on March 22, 1929. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in 1946, and married the love of her life, Jim Bauer, on August 28,1948. Jim passed away in 1994 after 45 years of marriage.

Called Jo, she had a wonderful life and treasured the blessings of faith, family and friends. Her most cherished moments were spent as a devoted mother to her 8 children and grandmother to her 31 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Throughout her life, she was very involved in her Catholic parishes. It was this love of the faith and children that lead her to start the Tiny Seed Preschool at Holy Cross Parish in the 1960’s and then start her own in-home preschool. She was employed as a telephone operator for Indiana Bell/AT&T for 20 years, retiring in 1988.

To know Jo was to know a woman of great positive strength, an enduring faith, wonderful humor and perseverance in all things. She loved Notre Dame, old movies, playing cards, dancing, writing letters, and clipping out prayers, sayings and articles. She hosted countless gatherings with those she loved and will always be remembered as an outstanding cook, even publishing a cookbook of favorite recipes.

Jo is survived by; her children, Terry (Stephanie) Bauer of Portage, IN, Kathy (Steve) Lambert of Cape Coral, FL, Babs (Ed) Foley of South Bend, Larry (Julann) Bauer of South Bend, Bob (Susan) Bauer of Dallas, TX, Julie (Kurt) Meyer of Niles, Carolyn (Marty) Hess of Granger, Beth (Mike) Bubik of Granger and soon, 78 precious grandchildren with every little soul imprinted on her heart. 

Her surviving siblings are Margaret (Mike) Gotstein and Frank Kopsca. She was preceded in death by sisters, Suzanne Reed and Beverly Morris; brother, Rev. Andrew Kopsca; and great grandson, Adam Laughner.

Visitation will be Thursday, January 7, from 3 to 5 pm with a Rosary at 4:30 pm in St. Monica Catholic Church, 222 W. Mishawaka Ave. Visitation is also Friday from 9:30 am – 10:30 am in church.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am Friday in St. Monica’s with grandson, Rev. Jacob Meyer, presiding. For those unable to attend, livestream of the Mass will be available on St. Monica YouTube Channel and also Facebook Page. Burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery at the University of Notre Dame.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Monica Catholic Church.

The family would like to thank all the clergy, friends and family who have offered care and loving support, especially those from St. Pius X Catholic Church where she was a parishioner and all the caring staff of The Hearth at Juday Creek and Heart to Heart Hospice.

Arrangements are under the care of Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka.

An online guest book is available at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne E. Bauer, please visit our floral store.


January 7, 2021

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
St. Monica Catholic Church (Mishawaka)

Recitation of the Rosary
January 7, 2021

4:30 PM
St. Monica Catholic Church (Mishawaka)

Mass of Christian Burial
January 8, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Monica Catholic Church (Mishawaka)


St. Monica Catholic Church
222 W. Mishawaka Avenue, Mishawaka IN 46545

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