John Patrick Sauer, MD


John Patrick Sauer, MD


Dr. John Sauer

For 45 years, John Patrick Sauer, MD cared for the children of Yellowstone County. In 1973, he joined the Billings Clinic and remained there for his entire medical career, in some cases tending to three generations of the same family. Dr. Sauer was most proud of helping establish a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Billings Clinic alongside his wife Terry, a neonatal nurse. They worked hard to get the NICU up and running, always having faith in their wonderful, dedicated staff during those challenging, but ultimately satisfying, years. Dr. Sauer was also involved in forming the first multi-disciplinary child abuse team in Billings.

Practicing as your friendly neighborhood pediatrician for more than 40 years meant Dr. Sauer built up a huge practice, but he took pride in remembering the names of all his patients. And years later, their children. Dr. Sauer loved his life’s work — he always got a kick out of the Hutterite community offering payment in food and wine — and the number of lives he touched through the Billings Clinic is incalculable.

If there is one thing Dr. Sauer loved more than his work, it was his large, ever-expanding family. Sauer had four sons by his first marriage and added three daughters — he refused to use the “step” prefix — after marrying Terry in 1996. Dr. Sauer was known for “embracing the silliness” as Lisa put it. He loved going overboard on holidays, loudly “singing” oldies while tending to his flower gardens, considering ice cream as a basic food group, and both judging/participating in, the legendary decades-long backyard pool cannonball contests.

Pat and Terry also considered travel essential to their lives. They visited every corner of Montana and the spots their children moved to: San Francisco, Portland, Boston, Denver, Martha’s Vineyard and Brooklyn. Internationally, they went to all manner of countries like Norway, France, Mexico, the Middle East, and had particular affection for Ireland and British Columbia. Back at home, however, Dr. Sauer was a man who knew how to relax. (The producers of Jeopardy! owe him a credit.)

John Patrick Sauer was born April 13, 1942, in Los Angeles, to parents Rita and Kearney Sauer, MD. The youngest of five boys, his education included Santa Clara University (he remains a proud Bronco), St. Louis University School of Medicine, and additional pediatric training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Women & Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, New York. He also learned on-the-job over three years of proud military service. Assigned to the 2nd Battalion 562nd Nike-Hercules Artillery Defenses, Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska, he achieved the rank of major.

Dr. Sauer was preceded in death by his parents and, at childbirth, his brother Thomas. He is survived by Terry, his wonderful wife of 24 years; three brothers Kearney, Anthony and Michael; his sons and their families, Patrick (Kim, Molly), Matthew, Brian (Callen, Miguel, Anthony, Joseph) and Daniel (Wenonah, Waylon, Amos, Jae, ZuZu); and daughters Megan (Josh, Emerson, Finley), Lisa (Jason, Neve, TBD late 2020) and Elizabeth (William, West, Abe).

In light of his years as a Billings physician, the family will celebrate a small funeral presided over by Anthony Sauer. S.J. When the pandemic is behind us, a celebration will be held in his honor and you’re all invited. Donations in Dr. Sauer’s name should be made to Kelker’s Kids, a Billings Clinic organization offering financial assistance to the families of children with cancer. And as someone who needed plenty of it in his last years, Dr. Sauer encourages everyone to donate blood.

Pat and Terry would like to especially thank Dr. Jesus Fabregas at Billings Clinic, who fought for and supported us these last four years. making it possible for Pat to live his best life. We thank Kyle and all the staff in the cancer center for their loving care as well.

Dr. Sauer is grateful to all his patients and their families who placed their trust in him, and to all the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals he worked with every day. Lastly, Dr. Sauer would like to sincerely apologize to anyone he offended along the way.

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0 thoughts on “John Patrick Sauer, MD”

  1. A wonderful man, great physician, and beloved partner and friend. Such a great loss. May all of the wonderful memories console his family and Terry. Love to them all. Linda

  2. This is a very nice remembrance. Dr Sauer was one of my favorite pediatrician’s to work with while a ped’s nurse in the mid to late 80’s; he has the lead in some of my best work memories….

  3. Jean Youngbauer

    God be with you in Heaven,my prayers are with you, he was a wonderful person,will be missed deeply🙏🙏🙏🙏

  4. Linda Wald williams

    So thankful to have had Pat in my working life and taking care of my now two grown sons. Not sure what would of happen to Mitchell without Pat as our doctor and friend. We will remember forever.

  5. Wishing peace of heart and mind to all who were touched by this funny, generous and wonderful man.
    Molly Mills

  6. Darlene Reynolds

    I didn’t know Dr. Sauer but I know his brother, Fr. Tony Sauer. I’d like to say to Fr. Sauer and Dr. Sauer’s family how sorry I am for their loss and my prayers are with them.

  7. William Deschner. M.D.

    Pat was a great friend and colleague while I was at The Billings Clinic. He and Al Hartman and Fred Gunville provided superior neonatal and pediatric care. He and his twisted sense of humor will be missed!!

  8. Denice Hellekson

    My sympathy to Terry and his entire family. I worked with him and Terry in the NICU 1978-85 and he was my favorite doc plus my 4 kids pediatrician. He did so much for this community. Denice Hellekson

  9. Allen and Liz Cooper

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Dr. Sauer was my son’s pediatrician for many years. Jeff Cooper (my son) is now a Neonatologist at Billings clinic and was proud to work under Dr. Sauer.
    Allen and Liz Cooper

  10. Lesley A. Gonzalez

    I worked at the Billins Clinic for 6 years before I moved out of state in 1990. Dr Sauer was always a compassionate pediatrician, especially in cases of child abuse. I have admired his dedication to children. His loss will be deeply felt.

  11. A wonderful man who touched many lives. A significant loss for Billings.
    Sending strength and peace to his family and all who loved Dr. Sauer.

  12. Melinda Formanek

    I worked in the pediatric department in the front office right after I graduated from college. Dr. Sauer was one of the doctors there at that time. He was one of the nicest people I had ever met. He always made me feel very comfortable and appreciated every day. It was an honor to have known him!

  13. What a wonderful person! One of my favorites and will remember him so fondly. Terry, you have my sympathy and condolences.

  14. I knew Dr. Sauer in several different settings. First he was the physician taking care of our three children.

    In 1982 we signed up our oldest son to play soccer. Pat picked him to be on his team. He asked me to be a referee. None of us knew much soccer at that time but we worked our way through it. Pat was so good with the kids, encouraging them to do their best.

    After I retired from UPS I worked at the Clinic in a support role. We would meet in the hallways from time to time. We liked catching up on what our kids were doing. He was so proud of all of you.

    Later on we would run into each other in the infusion center at the Clinic. We talked about the treatments we were receiving for the Multiple Myeloma we were battling.

    He was such a wonderful man and I respected him very much.

    You all have my deepest sympathy in your loss.

    May the peace that passes all understanding fill your hearts in this hard time.

  15. Dr. Sauer was such a wonderful Pediatrician…. He was amazing at what he did and I am so honored to have known him. He will be greatly missed…
    My sincerest condolences to his family and friends 🙏🏻

  16. My sincere sympathy and prayers for Dr. Sauer’s family!
    Dr. Sauer was a live saver for me. He took such wonderful care of my children,even when my daughter sought him out when she was 19 or 20 and living in CA. When my little Laurie had colic and I called him he told me to get up to the clinic right away and to not stop at the desk. He said he had a son who had colic and sympathized with me. He prescribed phenobarbitol for her and after 2 doses she was over it! Also, when Laurie was 2 he told her if she stayed as cute he had 3 sons he would introduce her to later on!

  17. We’re so sorry for your loss. Dr. Sauer was our son’s doctor for many years. Jeff Cooper (our son) is now a Neonatologist at Billings clinic and was proud to have worked under Dr. Sauer.

  18. Terry and family, my condolences to you. I worked with Dr. Sauer in the NICU from 1978-1982, and he was always so patient to teach this new graduate nurse, and to be supportive on those transport calls!
    He will be missed.

  19. I am heavy of heart to hear of Dr. Sauer’s passing. He took care of both my daughters (25 & 19 now) and for a short period, my granddaughter. He made me laugh every time we came to see him. He was quick of wit & truly cared about his patients & parents. I once asked him if he had any kids. He proudly stated he had 7. I quipped back that he did not even have to go to medical school, just practice at home. I am blessed to have known such a fine gentleman. My thoughts & prayers to the whole family

  20. I worked with Dr Sauer and Terry at st Vincent’s NICU from about 1979-1986. What great memories! He was a great doctor and a pleasure to work with. My sympathy to Terry and all the family.

  21. Terry and family, so sorry to hear of Dr. Sauers passing, he was a kind man it was my pleasure to get to know him over the years, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Deedee

  22. The best little brother ever to his oldest brother Kearney and wife Eileen. We have so many happy memories .We are more than sad and there are many prayers for him and his wife Terry, the definition of a true soul mate. God bless you both.

  23. So sorry to hear about Dr. Sauer’s passing. I always enjoyed calling on him and his office and him a Terry when they started the NICU at Billings Clinic. He was funny and kind, and always made you feel welcome.

  24. Such a wonderful man. He was my doctor and when it was my turn to be the mom he was my kiddos doctor as well. Dr. Sauer was always available to he patients. The world is certainly a better place because you were in it. Prayers to your family❤️
    Much love, Autumn Wilson

  25. I started transcription under a company who did their work for the Billings Clinics about 4-1/2 years ago. Dr. Sauer was one of my favorites for editing his work for his clients. I was so heartbroken when I ended up having to edit a report for Dr. Fabregas with Dr. Sauer as the patient. I followed his progress with Dr. Fabregas quite frequently as oncology was my realm of work. When I did his final report from Dr. Fabregas and found out he was going into hospice, I was so teary eyed. He was a very special doctor, and I’m sure a very special person, husband, and father. I am sure he will be truly missed. God speed Dr. Sauer, I’m sure you are truly in a better place right now. My sympathy to the family, you are all in my prayers.

  26. Dr. Sauer was my pediatrician. He had a big impact in my life. He was able to catch my hydrocephalus in 1975 and I am so thankful for that. I am so sorry to hear of his passing!!

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