The Obit For Doris Bauer

Doris Bauer, 58, WFAN radio caller

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Star-Ledger Staff

If you ever listened to WFAN (660 AM) in New York City, your life probably was touched by "Doris from Rego Park."

Doris Bauer's raspy voice, often punctuated by coughing, was unmistakable. Her love of the Mets was boundless. But she disapproved of many of the callers to the sports talk station.

"I once asked her why she didn't call them every day," said Kathy Bauer, her sister-in-law, who lives in Closter, Bergen County. "She said, 'I only call them when I have something to say. I don't like those people who call up and just talk.'"

Doris Bauer died Monday after a long battle with cancer. She was 58.

Her death was announced on The Fan and commemorated on its Web site.

"Doris was a huge Mets fan. She was very knowledgeable and courteous," said Mark Chernoff, program director at WFAN. "She called us numerous times a week over the past 16 years. The FAN has lost a member of the family."

"The Fan kept her alive," Kathy Bauer said. "She had a lifetime of illnesses (neurofibromatosis, various cancers, autism). I knew people knew who she was, but I had no idea how famous she was."

Bauer recalled her sister-in-law as a simple person who loved Coca-Cola, shrimp cocktail and cupcakes -- and, of course, the Mets. She had a head for numbers, which translated into a love for baseball and playing the stock market.

"She would call my two boys and talk baseball," Kathy Bauer said. "I gave her a list of stocks I was interested in and she called me every day. She drove me crazy."

Doris was a creature of habit. She drank three liters of Coke every day. Every Friday, she went to Bert's Deli in her Queens neighborhood for a dinner of matzo ball soup and a Coke.

"I used to tell her to try seltzer or something else with bubbles," said Harold Bauer, her brother. "Her apartment closets were full of Coke."

Doris would set her alarm clock for 2 a.m. so she could call Joe Benigno, the overnight host on The Fan.

For decades, she sat in the same seat at Shea Stadium to watch her beloved Mets. If there was a family function, Doris wouldn't commit until she checked the Mets' schedule. She went to games this past season, but the side effects of chemotherapy often forced her to leave early.

"A lot of the boys growing up teased her because of her appearance, and the fact that she knew more about baseball than they did," Harold Bauer said. "I would visit her and she would talk baseball and I would just nod."

Before retiring seven years ago from the New York State Compensation Board, she worked for Sears, Roebuck & Co. and the American Cancer Society.

Doris, who was the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, a niece and two nephews. Her nephews are Yankees fans.

The Bauer family welcomes the public to a memorial service at 10 a.m. Sunday at Parkside Memorial Chapel, 98-60 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, N.Y. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Rochelle Park.

Doris' family asks that all donations be mailed to the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation, 95 Pine St., 16th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005. Make checks out to the foundation and note: "In Memory of Doris Bauer."