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Renowned Automotive Engineer Frederick Bauer Dies at 90

Railroad aficando and great-grandson of the Stroh's Brewery founder, Bauer will be remembered for his ground-breaking advances in the standardization of radio frequencies.

Longtime Dearborn resident and Ford retiree Frederick Bauer, best-known for his pioneering work on the standardization of vehicle radio frequency standards, died Aug. 6 at the age of 90.

A fourth-generation Detroiter, Bauer is the great-grandson of Bernard Stroh, founder of the Stroh Brewery Company. Bauer was past president of the Dearborn Historical Commission and the Sacred Heart Parish Council.

Bauer graduated cum laude in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State College of Engineering, where he is honored in the Engineering Hall of Fame. 

As a novice engineer with Detroit Edison, he created a method of using direct-current telephone transmission line theory for solving heat-flow problems. 

While earning his Master of Science at Wayne State, Bauer began a 32-year career with Ford Motor Company, where he held numerous managerial and engineering positions. At the time of his retirement, he was head of the Electromagnetic Compatibility and Load Control Section.

More than any other person in the world, Bauer is responsible for the international standardization of vehicle radio frequency interference standards. For his work toward standardization of radio frequencies, as well as for his innovations in the technology of electromagnetic compatibility, he received an Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers Life Fellow Citation in 1980. He also is a Life Fellow of the Engineering Society of Detroit. 

In 2001 the Electro Magnetic Compatibility Society of the IEEE awarded him the Richard R. Stoddard Award for contributing to the solution of a socio-technological problem, and in 2002, he was the recipient of the Finegan Standards Medal of the American National Standards Institute, which honors an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership in the development and application of voluntary standards.

A member of various engineering societies and the author of many technical papers, Bauer also served as the chief U.S. delegate for the International Special Committee on Radio Interference Subcommittee, and as the head of automotive interference standardization. He also served as technical advisor to the United States National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission, and to the Canadian Standards Association.

As a member of the Apostleship of the Sea for 11 years, he welcomed seafarers arriving in Detroit ports, offering them both practical and pastoral care. 

Bauer was an avid railroad aficionado. He co-authored a book, "The Moffat Road," a history of Colorado mountain railroading, which won an award from the American Association of State and Local History. Bauer's collection of 40 railroad drumheads–circular signage used on passenger trains in the early 20th century–is on display in the Frederick Bauer Drumhead Gallery at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisc.

Besides his wedding day in 1948, one of his happiest days was spent as the guest engineer on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, the highest standard gauge rail running south from Denver, Colo., through the Rockies. 

Bauer and his wife traveled the world together, but also enjoyed weekends at their cottage in Caseville, Mich. 

Bauer is survived by his wife of 63 years, Geraldine (Gerry); his children, Michael (late Yvonne, fiancee Patricia Schroeder) of Appleton, Wis., Patricia (Edward Muller) Bauer of Santa Monica, Calif., and Kathleen (Joseph) Franklin  of Phoenixville, Pa.; grandchildren John and Margaret Muller, Erica (Joshua) Nevas, Elizabeth (Joshua) Royalty, and Michael and Joseph Franklin Jr. He was predeceased by his parents, Eva Stroh Bauer and Leo Bauer, and a grandson, James. 

Visitation at the Dearborn Chapel of the will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 4-7 p.m. with a scripture service at 7. On Thursday, Aug. 11, there will be visitation at Henry Ford Village, Ford Rd. and Greenfield, from 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Angela Hospice, 14100 Newburgh Rd., Livonia, MI 48154 or the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207.

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