John L. Kauer, 48, of Rindge, New Hampshire, went home after a long fight with cancer. A transplant from Saginaw, Michigan, he became a fixture of his adopted community through Scouting and through his active participation in local politics.
A devoted father of three; John, Mary, and Joe, threw himself into their Scouting activities with a verve and energy level that was unmatchable. His smile, constant good humor, jokes and his quiet wisdom encased in the humor made him the “fun” Scoutmaster. Learning how to turn a bag of corn chips into fire starters, how to make a tuna can stove, and how to improve a trebuchet were just some of the skills he mastered and passed on to many. With engineering skills at his command, potato guns were created under his direction that had capabilities far beyond their original intentions. He loved hiking, and considered the Presidential range his personal challenge course, often with his children climbing alongside him.
For some years he was the webmaster for the local Scouting district and the man they turned to for just about anything having to do with the Internet or computer programming. John was recognized on multiple occasions for his volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting and he were a perfect fit. An avid outdoorsman, his idea of a great time included camping out for a canoe trip on the Connecticut River during a hurricane that left everything taken on the trip soaking wet for four days.
Climbing Monadnock was a weekend afternoon walk for him. When he couldn’t climb anymore he continued with his weekly pick up of roadside trash along Main St. from the town center to the bottom of the hill. His favorite evening activity was a campfire in his backyard, toasting marshmallows and looking at the stars. All of this he brought to the table in his Scouting activities.
Being webmaster for the Scouting district was a natural outgrowth of John’s computer genius. Programming was both his avocation and his actual job. He was known to remark that he had never worked a day since taking up computer programming because for him, it was all about the fun of writing code and figuring out how to make a computer do jobs no one else had ever dreamed they could do. For him, it was a game — a puzzle to be pieced together and solved.
His yellow smiley face satellite dish on Main Street is a familiar landmark and an accurate hallmark of who John was. “Stay on the Sunny Side” was a little ditty his warm baritone voice could often be heard singing. His smiles, his jokes, his gentle teasing of the medical staff that oversaw his cancer treatment made him a favorite. Returned smiles and choruses of “Hey John” and “We’ve missed you” were his greeting at the
Norris Cotton Cancer Center-Kingsbury Pavilion. He faced his greatest adversary with a smile and a firm set of goals, never wavering from his belief that he would get through this and achieve what he had set. He had his belief in God and a quietly devoted prayer life that gave him strength as he fought the cancer.
The Rindge Select and Planning Boards were very familiar with John. He was an ardent advocate for using what was already available — the taxpayer’s champion. Because of his penchant for working with numbers, much of his focus was pinpointed on the town budget. But he would also speak up on other issues. He took the New England way of town governance to heart and exercised his citizenship duties regularly.
John left behind his father Lynn, his mother Joan, his stepmother Crystal, his sister Renee, his ex-wife Beverly, and his three children John, Mary, and Joseph. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, fellow Scouters and work associates. The world is a little less sunny without him.
Family and friends are invited to gather and visit with John’s family on Friday, August 30, 2013 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at Saint Patrick Church, 89 Main Street, Jaffrey.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Saint Patrick Church. Rev. Wilfred Deschamps, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery in Rindge.