Marengo Students Receive Scholarships from Rich Bauman Tuition Fund

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, the Sacred Heart Church Knights of Columbus awarded Marengo residents Bruce Mikosz, who will be a freshman, and Caitlin McKenna, $500 each in tuition assistance to attend Marion Central Catholic School in Woodstock.

The scholarships were awarded as part of the Rich Bauman Tuition Assistance Fund. Rich Bauman, who grew up in Marengo and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, was born March 1, 1934 and passed away on October 22, 2010. He married Marengo resident, Mary Jane Bauman in 1954, and they had seven children, 14 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Both Mary Jane and Rich were high school sweethearts who started dating their senior year at Marengo Community High School.

Mary Jane said he was very social and loved to tell jokes.

“He had a big family and was very good at providing,” she said.

He worked as a meat cutter. For 41 years, he worked at several area Wisted’s Super Markets including the Marengo Wisted’s, she said. He also owned Bauman’s Landscape, which he started in 1978.

Bauman was raised Lutheran, and later converted to the Catholic Church around 1980. Mary Jane said Rich enjoyed the fellowship and card games that the Knights of Columbus offered.

“They were all good pals,” she said. Rich wanted the Knights to be involved in his passing, said Clarence Gburek, Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart Church in Marengo.

“When we set this up, Mary Jane’s wish was to do something with the Knights of Columbus; and I had a vision of [giving scholarships to students to aid in attending Catholic school].” Mary Jane Bauman and family donated all proceeds from Rich Bauman’s funeral and memorial to the scholarship fund, which totaled about $5,000, Gburek said.

“The fund will be replenished with our fundraisers as we go along,” he said. “If anyone else should pass away and would want to do this as well, they could [help to] keep it going.”