Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Lifelong music lover taught in Haines


August 16, 2018

Woody Bausch, photo courtesy of Bausch family.

Former music teacher Woody Bausch died Aug. 8 at home in Lewiston, Idaho after four years of cancer treatments. He was 74. Wife Colleen, also a former teacher, said "He loved the kids he taught in Haines, and we've heard from a lot of them during this journey."

Bausch taught band, choir and elementary music in Haines with a dash of humor and an emphasis on basic skills, from 1979 until his retirement in 1992. He and Colleen returned to his hometown of Orofino, ID following her retirement in 1993.

Eugene "Woody" Bausch was born Nov. 8, 1943 to Dan and Ruth (Meadows) Bausch. His father was a power company lineman, and his mother a homemaker. He grew up in Orofino. He played the clarinet in fifth grade band and his life-long love of music began. He graduated from Orofino High School in 1962 and the University of Idaho in 1967. "Woody was in the marching band, the concert band, the dance band, any band they had, he was in it," Colleen said.

He taught high school band and choir in Weippe and Pierce, ID, married Tam Judy in 1968 and after a divorce headed to Petersburg where he taught music for five years. He returned to Orofino for a year, missed Alaska, and moved back to Haines in 1979.

When Bausch and fourth grade teacher Colleen Bieleski were married by late magistrate Carl Heinmiller in November of 1983, "he gained a five year-old son (John) and a three year-old daughter (Lisa) and in 1985 Max came along," Colleen said.

At school, "the kids really liked Woody," fellow teacher and coach Lyle Huff said. "He was concerned that they progressed and got better every year, and they all did well at music festivals." Bausch especially loved the pep band and playing at tournaments. "It was always fun to travel with Woody because he had so many friends in all the communities," Huff said.

Bausch was a photographer, and printed and sold postcards in Haines; he hunted and fished, and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He and Colleen spearheaded the annual spring cleanup on the school grounds and the adjacent Haines Highway frontage and hosted a potluck afterward that was a highlight of the end of the school year for faculty and staff.

"Woody was a delight," friend Jean Smith said. "He was very funny, with a dry sense of humor. He always had a story, and he'd get this grin on his face because he couldn't wait to get to the punch line."

After retiring to Orofino, Bausch directed the 55-voice Orofino Community Choir, recording a CD of spiritual songs and hymns with them. "He was especially proud of that," Colleen said. He also published a book of Idaho images, camped and hunted, and spent time with his three grandsons. In September 2016 he moved back to Lewiston for easier medical care. There will be a celebration of life Aug.18 at the Cross Point Alliance Church there.

In addition to his wife and grandsons, Bausch leaves children John (Crystal) Bausch of Everett WA, Lisa (David) Morse of Moscow ID, and Max Bausch of Lewiston; siblings Dennis Bausch of Boise and Sandy Butler of Hope, ID; uncle Leo Bausch of Lewiston, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Cards may be sent to the family at 1616 Birch Ave. Lewiston, ID 83501.


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