Todd Michael Bauer, a reporter for The Augusta Chronicle, died Friday after a brief battle with cancer. He was 24.
Mr. Bauer was a graduate of Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., and a 1997 graduate of the University of Georgia, where he was a staff writer for the campus newspaper, The Red & Black. Before joining The Chronicle staff, he was a management intern with Morris Communications Corp.
Mr. Bauer joined The Chronicle in 1997 and truly made a difference during his two short years with the paper, said Dennis Sodomka, executive editor.
"He contributed a lot to his profession and his community," Mr. Sodomka said.
A Civil War re-enactment of the Battle of Rivers Bridge last January demonstrated the lengths to which Mr. Bauer would go to capture the meaning of a story. He, along with 100 others, participated in a re-enactment of the march 134 years ago by Confederate troops to the Salkehatchie River to defend Columbia from Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and his Union troops.
"As calmly as I can," he wrote, "I fumble a paper cartridge from my cartridge bag, bite the end off with my teeth, dump the black powder from the cartridge down the barrel without spilling too much on my hand, and then spit the sour grit of gunpowder out of my mouth ...
"Even though the cannons are hundreds of feet away and are shooting nothing more than black powder, the ground still trembles with their force. My ears are still ringing from musket fire on the Rebel line, and I find it unsettling when I realize that the cannons are pointing at us, for a change."
"I think what impressed me most about Todd was his maturity," said John Boyette, South Carolina editor. "For a 24-year-old, he knew a great deal about all facets of the newspaper operation, and he brought a great deal of enthusiasm to work every day. He wanted to be the best reporter at the best newspaper, and he worked hard to make it happen in his corner of The Augusta Chronicle."
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Midway United Methodist Church with the Revs. Charles Robinson, Monte Bartlett and Martha Aenchbacher officiating.
Survivors include his parents, Kenneth and Jannet Bauer, Alpharetta; two brothers, Kenneth "Ted" Bauer III, Savannah, and Christopher Bauer, Alpharetta; his paternal grandmother, Eleanore Bauer, Cumming, Ga.; and his maternal grandmother, Alice Giljam, Florida.
Memorials may be made to The Grady School of Journalism, c/o The University of Georgia, Athens.
"Todd was more than just a co-worker with all of us in the Aiken bureau," Mr. Boyette said. "He was a friend and a part of all of our extended families. We will miss his sense of humor and dedication to the job."
Ashlee Griggs can be reached at 823-3351.