A Son’s Legacy

Davin Bauck's passions are guiding how he's remembered by his parents and community.

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By Denise Logeland • Photos by Maehill Studios

Davin Bauck died last September at age 28. He probably would describe it differently, though. For him, it meant being called home to God.

His mother, Diane Bauck, says Davin often talked about his faith and his spiritual life. She and her husband, Dean Bauck, and some in their community of Perham, Minnesota, knew Davin for the talents, interests and compassion with which he lived his life. There was his intense interest in science, which led him to study biotechnology and pharmaceutical science. There was his love of theater and games, and his gift for teaching and working with students with disabilities.

People close to him knew these things about Davin. But now, Diane says, she is coming to know Davin even better. She and Dean, with guidance from their local Thrivent Financial professionals, have used proceeds from Davin’s life insurance to give financial gifts in their community that honor his life and keep his memory alive.

As the Baucks connect with people and causes that Davin cared about, they see more clearly who he was.

Your Son Helped Me

“I’ve worked with the Baucks my whole career,” says Thrivent Financial Professional Dale Wanderi of Perham. It was Wanderi who helped Dean Bauck set up a life insurance contract for Davin when he was a baby. Through the contract’s guaranteed purchase options, Dean and Diane added to it as Davin grew up.

“We were older parents,” Diane says. Dean was 44 when Davin was born, and she was 37. He was their only child. Their hope was that with the cash value of his insurance contract, they could leave Davin in a good financial position if they were to die while he was still relatively young.

That isn’t what happened. After the funeral and their initial months of grief, they found themselves wondering what they would do with the insurance money. So they let Davin be their guide.

The largest gift went to Lutheran Island Camp in nearby Henning, Minnesota, where the family had visited many times. The camp plans to build a science center for learning about nature in a Christian context. It seemed like a perfect legacy for Davin’s lifetime of scientific curiosity and faith.

There were many other gifts, too. The Baucks set up a scholarship fund at the local high school for students interested in science-based careers. They donated to the public library, which Davin believed was important because it made books, computers and reading groups available to everyone, regardless of income. They gave to several groups including the Special Olympics and Empowering Kids, an organization that provides autism support services in Perham. Each reflected, in one way or another, what they knew about Davin.

But Diane also describes the joy of giving in situations where she learned something new about her son. A childhood friend, who is now a young father, told her how Davin helped him when he struggled to get through school. He wants his own daughter to grow up with Davin’s love of reading, so the Baucks are supplying the girl with new books on a monthly basis.

“Ultima Gaming” was an unfamiliar name in the guest book from Davin’s funeral. Diane looked it up and discovered it was a business in town. She went to visit and learned from the store’s owner, Dave Jopp, that he was planning a memorial display for Davin in his shop. His mission with the business, he explained, was to create a safe place for kids, including those on the autism spectrum, to learn and to socialize through gaming.

“You don’t understand how much your son helped me get this store started, helped me keep it going and was here all the time,” Jopp told her.

Something Good

“We’ve really had fun hearing the connections,” Diane says, between Davin and so many other people. Giving has been comforting, and “I want something good to come out of this,” she adds.

Toward that end, Dean and Diane have put some of the insurance money back into insurance, too. They’ve given money to parents in their extended family so that they in turn could purchase life insurance contracts for their children. Throughout the Baucks’ deliberations about financial gifts, Wanderi and his colleague, Thrivent Financial Professional Nathan Woodard, were helpful sounding boards.

“Thrivent has really done something for us here,” Diane Bauck says. “They provided a lot of information. They guided us in how to set these things up.”

Denise Logeland is a freelance writer in Minnesota.

Early Contracts Lock in Insurability

There are lots of reasons to think about buying life insurance for children when they’re very young, as the Baucks did. But one reason that people might not think about is the risk of a child’s insurability changing, even before they reach adulthood, says Thrivent Financial Professional Dale Wanderi. It can happen due to serious medical problems or even sports injuries and concussions.

Wanderi says he’s seen this happen in his own family. His grandchildren have life insurance contracts. “But one of my grandsons could not add the disability waiver because he got hit in the nose with a baseball and developed a benign cyst behind his eye.” The family wanted to purchase that option on the contract, but the lasting effects of his injury disqualified him. It’s one reason Wanderi recommends locking in all the coverage you want for children early in their lives. “Insurability can change at any age,” he says.