Joseph Rudolph Bahr, 77, of La Crosse, died at his home on Saturday, December 18, 2021.
Joe was born in La Crosse on October 11, 1944, the fourth of five children to Joseph and Della (Mashak) Bahr. He attended Holy Trinity Elementary School near their home in La Crosse until the family moved to the family farm near West Salem, where he completed elementary school at Pleasant One-Class School. Valley. During his years at West Salem High School, Joe enjoyed playing baseball for various school and community teams, which continued into adulthood. As a high school student he also played football in that year alone and was named All-Conference in both attack and defense. Joe’s athletic ability has given him many years of pleasure, the respect and admiration of many teammates and opponents, and hours of fond memories to share over the course of his life.
Joe started a long life with golf when, as a teenager, he worked for Harvey Krahn at Frank Raney’s Maple Grove Country Club near the family farm. After high school, Joe continued to work on golf courses in Rockford, Janesville and Watertown, where he was highly regarded as the superintendent. In 1980, he was asked to become superintendent of La Crosse Country Club. Joe and his family moved to their home on the La Crosse Golf Course and he has faithfully served the Country Club for over 20 years involving extensive renovations under the direction of the members and boards of directors. Joe remained on the course below Grandad Bluff when the Country Club moved to Onalaska, working as a superintendent for several management groups during those years until his retirement in 2010. Joe loved every inch of this course and has devoted hours to his care. He was often seen during the summer resetting sprinklers until late at night. He could also name the years and species of trees he planted from which he has collected several golf clubs over the years.
Joe married Betty Dunlap on June 4, 1966 in West Salem, and they later divorced. He is survived by his sons: Jeff and his children, Jennah (fiancee, Tanner Wolf), Jack and Jaycie; Jason (Kelley) and their children: Kayla, Brianne, Shealyn and Treyton; and John (Amy) and their children: Matt and Samantha. He is survived by his siblings: Lyle (Lynda) of La Crosse, Kenneth (Cindy) of Carlton, TX, and Phyllis (Fritz) Balmer of Linden, MI; one sister-in-law, Cona Bahr of New Berlin, WI; three nieces: Susan, Maria and Shea; and a former daughter-in-law, Janet Bahr. Joe leaves behind a multitude of friends, including his partner and caregiver, Pauline Connell. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, James.
No one was more considerate and generous with their time and resources than Joe Bahr. He really enjoyed his time spent bowling and softball with the Bluffside Black Squirrels and then talking about those times with friends at the Bluffside. If you knew Joe, you would be proud to be called his friend.
A Christian funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2021, at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 130 Losey Blvd So, La Crosse, with visitations starting at 9:00 a.m. Reverend Peter Raj will officiate. The funeral mass will be broadcast live and can be viewed by accessing the parish’s YouTube channel at www.bsplacrosse.org. There will also be a Celebration of Joe’s Life which will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at the Bluffside Tavern, 2712 Main Street, La Crosse.
Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services in La Crosse are helping the family.
Online condolences can be submitted at www.schumacher-kish.com.