Frank Bauer, a longtime Olympian employee who rose through the ranks in advertising to become the newspaper’s ad director, died Saturday. He was 61.
Bauer died at home. Jill, his wife of 24 years, said Wednesday that he died of cancer. He was born in Germany. The two of them met when he worked as a retail ad manager for the Pensacola News Journal in Florida.
“I thoroughly enjoyed him as a friend and co-worker,” said Mike Leonard, who worked at The Olympian for 17 years. “We had a good common link. We were both Cougar grads and we enjoyed bird hunting and playing golf.”
“He enjoyed his time on the greens,” Jill Bauer added.
David Zeeck, publisher of The Olympian and The News Tribune, said Bauer loved Olympia.
“At work he was a terrific business analyst and mentored younger sales professionals with a combination of good advice and wry humor. He also set a high standard of performance. He often was the first person into the office and the last out,” Zeeck said.
“Frank also truly loved Olympia and The Olympian. Though his career took him elsewhere — running the Olympian ad department was the one job he always wanted,” Zeeck said.
Leonard said they met at the paper in 1984. He was the classified ad manager, while Bauer was the retail ad manager. Leonard recalled preparing budgets on pencil-written spreadsheets.
“He was a heck of a nice guy,” Leonard said. “He took the pressure off his sales team, and I really liked that about him.”
After he graduated from Washington State University in 1976, Bauer worked at The Olympian as an intern, Leonard said.
Before he became ad director for The Olympian, he worked at several Gannett Co. newspapers in that capacity, including nearly eight years as ad director at The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon.
He made stops at the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota, The Hattiesburg American in Mississippi, The Herald Dispatch in West Virginia and The Times in Louisiana, according to his LinkedIn page.
He returned to lead the ad department at The Olympian in 2004. After the McClatchy Co. acquired the paper, Bauer became a vice president of advertising for the Olympian and News Tribune newspapers.
He later worked as an advertising and marketing consultant.
“He was one of my favorites,” said Ken Anderson, president of Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty in Olympia, on Bauer’s Facebook page. “Always a class act, fun to be around and loved life to its fullest. He is missed.”
Arrangements are being handled by Funeral Alternatives of Washington, 360-753-1065.