Cover photo for Donald "Don" John Bayer's Obituary
Donald "Don" John Bayer Profile Photo
1935 Donald 2020

Donald "Don" John Bayer

February 5, 1935 — May 8, 2020

Woodway, Texas

Donald J. Bayer, 85, passed away Friday evening, May 8, 2020.  A short memorial service will be 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 13th at Grace Gardens Funeral home in Woodway Texas. In light of current times, we will be holding a Celebration of Life get together in a few months when it is safe to travel.

Don was born February 5th, in Muenster, Texas, the son of the late Martin and Louise Bayer. He grew up in Muenster, working on the family farm and attending Sacred Heart Catholic High School and later earned his BS degree at Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps. He moved to Waco from Denton in 1972 and established the Don Bayer Farmers Insurance Agency, which he ran until his retirement in 2004.  In August 1973, he married the love of his life, Barbara Jenkins Bayer, who worked side by side with him for 31 years.

During his time in Waco, Don became an active supporter of the HOT Fair and Rodeo Association. Always an avid supporter of young people, Don spearheaded the establishment of the Youth and Education Scholarship Program in 1991, which has grown over the years from nineteen $100 scholarships to more than $250,000 given annually.  Don’s friends and business associates could count on him knocking on their doors every January, convincing them to donate even more to the scholarship effort than they had the year before.  It was impossible to say no to his requests because of his sincere devotion to the betterment of the youth of McLennan County.

In addition to his work with HOT Fair, Don loved traveling with his wife, telling funny stories, gardening, and crafting wooden “critters,” which he gifted to so many family members and friends.  It was always amazing to see him look at a picture of any animal and then fashion its likeness out of wooden clothes pins!

This kind, generous man was admired by many and loved by all.

Don was preceded in death by his son, Monty Joe Bayer, and his siblings Ernest, David and Tom Bayer.  He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his daughters, Sonda Monday, Lea Carol Wright, and Tia May; grandchildren Kelsey, Kendall, and Kamryn Bayer, Jonathan and Joseph Monday, and siblings, Nell Vanmeter, Pat Otto, Dale Bayer, and Bill Bayer.

The family gives special thanks to John Puente for his loyalty, help and friendship.

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations be made to

McLennan County Junior Livestock Show, P.O. Box 8990, Waco, TX 76714


To send flowers to the family in memory of Donald "Don" John Bayer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home & Crematorium

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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