Education

Longtime metro-east teacher and trivia night regular from Belleville dies

Jack Sauer, a retired teacher from Belleville, kept a record of every trivia game since his first on March 26, 1994. By 2016, he attended his 1,000th trivia night. Sauer died Nov. 26, 2017. He was 74 years old.
Jack Sauer, a retired teacher from Belleville, kept a record of every trivia game since his first on March 26, 1994. By 2016, he attended his 1,000th trivia night. Sauer died Nov. 26, 2017. He was 74 years old. News-Democrat file photo

Jack Sauer was known by students, parents and teachers in at least three communities and by those who frequent trivia nights in even more.

The longtime teacher and trivia fan died Nov. 26 in Belleville. He was 74 years old.

Sauer worked for many years as a teacher at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic School in Waterloo and retired from Bartelso Elementary School in Clinton County, according to an obituary. He also worked as a substitute teacher in Millstadt District 160.

When he wasn’t in a classroom, Sauer enjoyed spending time with his trivia night groups. He told the News-Democrat in a 2016 interview that he had traveled as far as Ashley, Illinois in Washington County for trivia.

Sauer spoke to the News-Democrat about a milestone: his 1,000th trivia night.

“My first was March 26, 1994,” Sauer said at the time. “We played at Gibault High School in Waterloo and we won.”

It was two of his former students who asked him to play for the first time. “When they called and invited me, I didn’t know such a thing existed.”

“It’s all about the team,” Sauer said last year. “I will say to some friends, ‘Trivia is a team sport.’ You need people who can cover a variety of topics. You can’t have everybody who knows sports or movies. It’s a team effort. ... Part of what helped me as a teacher is the repetition. When you teach the same thing year after year, pretty soon it sinks in.”

Sauer’s best categories were politics and baseball — especially questions about the St. Louis Cardinals, he said.

What he liked about trivia nights was “the camaraderie at the table.”

“We enjoy each other’s company and have snacks and drinks and good conversation,” Sauer said. “What else is needed?”

Sauer is survived by a brother and sister, one nephew and four nieces, as well as their children.

A visitation for Sauer is scheduled for 12-2:30 p.m. Sunday at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home in Belleville. Funeral services will begin at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation at P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA, 01061-0515.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes

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