John E. Bach, Sr., age 93, of Goshen, died Thursday, February 8, 2018 at Valley View Center, Goshen, NY .
John was born July 3, 1924 in Goshen, NY, the son of the late Frederick W. Bach and the late Rebecca (Brede) Bach.
He served in the U.S. Army in the 15th Air Force during World War II, as a bombardier with the 455th bomb group and later became a first lieutenant. He flew a total of 39 combat missions as a bombardier navigator aboard B-24 Liberator bomber planes. His combat took him to the Rhineland, Northern Apenines, Po Valley, the Balkans, North Africa, Italy, and Egypt. He was reported missing in action over Germany in 1944 and spent time as a POW in Germany and Poland, after his plane was shot down in Krakow, Poland. For his service, he was awarded an Air Medal and three oak leaf clusters. Upon his liberation and honorable discharge in 1945, he found work as a real estate broker and went on to establish a career in title insurance industry spanning five decades. He formed Goshen Abstract Corporation in 1959, PJ Enterprises Inc. in 1966 which was the first title insurance agency in Orange County and Hill N Dale Abstracters in 1972 with his fellow colleagues Paul G. Miller and Elmer Budd. His professional legacy lives on today through his son attorney, John E. Bach, Jr., and stepsons John and James Wood who succeeded to his ownership in Hill N Dale Abstracters, Inc. Although he retired in 1999, he was able to remain a strong presence at Hill N Dale Abstracters until his 90th birthday in 2014. John was an active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Monroe, VFW, the American Legion, Cataracts Engine & Hose. Most importantly, John was a 35-year member of the Goshen Historic Track and U.S. Trotting Association.
He spent his entire life in Goshen, his beloved home. He was proud to be one of the last "Goshen Boys", and loved to reminisce about the good ol' days as a farm boy growing up at the racetrack. Harness racing was in his blood. His father worked as a teamster at Good Times Track, and John and his brothers spent their childhood summers volunteering at the track during racing season. As teenagers, they worked as ushers and valets during the Hambletonian. John worked every aspect of the sport, as a clerk, a jogger, a timer, served on the Board of Directors, and even tried his hand at driving. He loved to boast that the only years he was ever absent from the July 4th Racing Weekend was during his service in WWII. Born on July 3, he lived for this weekend, and could be found in his box seat every year up through his 91st birthday. John also owned race horses for the majority of his adult life, buying his first horse in 1973 and selling his last in 2014. He accomplished his life-long dream of winning a New York Sire Stake in Buffalo on June 19, 2010 with racehorse "Flirtinwithcowboys".
John is survived by his wife: Carol (Mesnica) Bach at home; children, John Bach Jr. of Chester, Kevin Bach and wife Celine of Middletown, Bernice Holmbraker and husband Peter of Goshen, Rosemarie Tveit and husband Stanley of New Hampton, Marguerite Bach of Raleigh, NC, Jamie Neumann and husband Joseph of Hilton Head, SC and Rebecca Columbus of Wrightsville Beach, NC; stepchildren, Cheryl Samz and her husband Gary from Waukesha WI, James Wood and wife Wendy of Goshen, and John Wood and wife Marlene of Montgomery; 21 grandchildren, Jessica (Kevin) O'Shea, Michael (Kristin) Guilfoyle, Kristen (Tim) Farber, Aaron Tveit, Fr. Jon Tveit, Kayla Neumann, Bradley (Alexandra) Neumann, Bryan Columbus, Paul Columbus, Thomas Columbus, Michele Wood, Sara Wood, Ryan Wood, Jared Wood, Erin Wood, Katie Rose Duff, Brian Duff, Taylor (Matt) Raimondo, Kyle Doce, Allen Faust and Alana Buono; 5 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by four brothers; Frederick, William, Robert, and Peter; and two sisters, Joan Cox and Rose Bach.
Visitation will be on Monday, February 12, 2018 from 3-7pm at the Donovan Funeral Home, Inc., 82 South Church Street, Goshen, NY.
Funeral Service will be on Tuesday, February 13 at 10:00 am at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 21 Still Road, Monroe, NY.
Burial will follow in the Orange County Veteran's Cemetery, Goshen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's name to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 21 Still Road, Monroe, NY 10950 or the Goshen Historic Track, 44 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924.
Arrangements under the care of the Donovan Funeral Home, Inc. To leave a condolence visit www.donovanfunerals.com