Wolfgang Hauer was an iconic Ann Arbor presence with a certain storybook aura not unlike his drawings. He could be could be spotted around town with his scruffy beard, rumpled raincoat and walking stick, perhaps carrying a well-worn Kroger bag with a library book on theosophy or the healing power of trees.
Wolfgang was an illustrator and painter throughout his life. He gave away most of his artwork: ink drawings for the newsletter of the Michigan Botanical Club, paintings of romantic nature scenes, as well as many elaborate birthday cards for his friends, often lovingly inked on the back of recycled paper.
Ink drawings by Wolfgang Hauer
Wolfgang was a great reader of philosophy and religions, east and west. He was a walking encyclopedia of botany and an outspoken critic of any sort of cruelty to animals or abuse of natural resources. Born in Berlin, he and his parents escaped Nazi Germany in 1940 and resettled in Detroit.
In his later years, Wolfgang moved to Ann Arbor where he finally found kindred spirits in a small circle of younger friends who loved nature and ecology as much as he did.
Of all Wolfgang's favorite pastimes — among them reading philosophy, listening to Beethoven, nibbling on sweets, drinking chamomile tea and walking in the woods — one of his very favorite things to do was to simply sit in nature with friends, breathing the fresh air.
A loving obituary written by Wolfgang's friend Lenny can be found here.