Feb. 5, 1935 - May 8, 2020
Donald J. Bayer, 85, passed away Friday evening, May 8, 2020. A short memorial service will be 2 p.m., Wed., May 13, at Grace Gardens Funeral home in Woodway. In light of current times, we will be holding a Celebration of Life in a few months when it is safe to travel.
Don was born Feb. 5, in Muenster, TX, the son of the late Martin and Louise Bayer. He grew up in Muenster, working on the family farm and attending Sacred Heart Catholic High School and later earned his BS degree at Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps. He moved to Waco from Denton in 1972 and established the Don Bayer Farmers Insurance Agency, which he ran until his retirement in 2004. In Aug. 1973, he married the love of his life, Barbara Jenkins Bayer, who worked side by side with him for 31 years.
During his time in Waco, Don became an active supporter of the HOT Fair and Rodeo Assoc. Always an avid supporter of young people, Don spearheaded the establishment of the Youth and Education Scholarship Program in 1991, which has grown over the years from 19 $100 scholarships to more than $250,000 given annually. Don's friends and business associates could count on him knocking on their doors every January, convincing them to donate even more to the scholarship effort than they had the year before. It was impossible to say no to his requests because of his sincere devotion to the betterment of the youth of McLennan County. In addition to his work with HOT Fair, Don loved traveling with his wife, telling funny stories, gardening, and crafting wooden critters, which he gifted to so many family members and friends. It was always amazing to see him look at a picture of any animal and then fashion its likeness out of clothespins! This kind, generous man was admired and loved by all.
Don was preceded in death by his son, Monty Joe Bayer; and his siblings Ernest, David and Tom Bayer. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Sonda Monday, Lea Carol Wright, and Tia May; grandchildren, Kelsey, Kendall, and Kamryn Bayer, Jonathan and Joseph Monday; and siblings, Nell Vanmeter, Pat Otto, Dale Bayer, and Bill Bayer. The family gives special thanks to John Puente for his loyalty, help and friendship.
In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations be made to McLennan County Junior Livestock Show, P.O. Box 8990, Waco, TX 76714.
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