Martha Jane Sauer

Longtime Bayfield resident Martha Jane Sauer died Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Palisade. She was 85.

Ms. Sauer was born to Haskell and Miriam (Cooper) Robins on Nov. 6, 1926, in Stigler, Okla. The family moved to Piedra when she was very young and then to Bayfield, where she lived most of her life. She graduated from Bayfield High School in 1944.

After high school, Ms. Sauer attended beauty school in Colorado Springs.

“Her memories of that time were less academic and more about flirting and dancing with cute soldiers,” her family said.

On May 25, 1946, after she’d returned to Bayfield, Jonnie Lets introduced her to Henry Sauer.

“He took her to supper and then took her home, and in her diary that night she wrote, ‘He sure is an awfully lot of fun,’” her family said.

The couple married Jan. 5, 1947, in Bayfield.

The Sauers raised three children, and Ms. Sauer loved being a farm wife and mother, her family said. She enjoyed taking care of her home, cooking for her family, watching her son’s basketball games and making dresses for her daughters.

“She would suggest a jaunt to Durango for Cokes, and it became a grand adventure for her children,” her family said.

In 1966, the Sauers moved to Questa, N.M.

In Sept. 1970, Mr. Sauer died, and Ms. Sauer returned to Bayfield and worked at the grocery store.

“She knew everyone and everyone knew her,” her family said. “She was so friendly and charismatic.”

After retiring from the store, Ms. Sauer worked at the cattle sale barn near Durango and was involved with Bayfield Senior Citizens Center and Calvary Presbyterian Church, of which she was a longtime member. In her free time, she enjoyed crocheting and visiting with her family and friends, especially her sister, Betty Abernathy.

“People knew her for her angel food cake, a light-as-air confection that won a blue ribbon at the county fair,” her family said. “She made them for friends and strangers. She was known for her bright lipstick and her sassy earrings.”

She moved to Palisade in January.

Ms. Sauer was preceded in death by her husband of 23 years, Henry Sauer.

She is survived by her children Bruce Sauer and Judy Jehl, both of Palisade, and Rita Sauer of Union, N.J.; sister, Betty Abernathy, of Bayfield; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 69 E. Mill St., in Bayfield. A funeral will be held afterward at 11 a.m. at Calvary Presbyterian. Burial will occur at the Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Alpine Hospice, 2764 Compass Drive, Grand Junction 81506; or to the La Plata County Humane Society, P.O. Box 2164, Durango, CO 81302.

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