Obituary: Ronald Edward Gauger

January 12, 1935 ~ March 14, 2023 

Ronald Edward Gauger, 88, of Sturgeon Bay, died Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

He was born January 12, 1935 in Wausau, the son of Edward and Dorothy (Stanislawski) Gauger. Ron grew up attending parochial school and St. Anne’s Parish, both in Wausau before attending Wausau High School. Ron enlisted to serve his country with the United States Navy in 1951 and was eventually stationed on the USS Newport News (Admirals’ boat) in the Mediterranean during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged from the Navy after returning home. 

Ron returned home to Wausau and enrolled in various trade and supervisor classes. He was employed as a foreman at Marathon Electric.

Ron was united in marriage to Lillian Mae Stoltz on August 16, 1958 at St. Michael Catholic Church in Wausau. Ron and Lillian had their three sons while living in the Wausau area and attended St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Rothschild. He had an interest in electric motors and eventually decided to move his family to Ohio for employment. After two years, Ron and his family returned home to Wisconsin. 

They moved to Door County in 1980 and resided in Sturgeon Bay. Ron worked as a plant manager for Emerson Motors until 1985 when he went to work for Hatco. He retired as plant manager from Hatco in 2000. 

Ron and Lillian were blessed with over 59 years of marriage. Lillian passed away December 21, 2017. Ron shared many loving stories about Lillian and missed her dearly.

While living in Sturgeon Bay, Ron was a member of St. Joseph Parish. He had a strong voice and was a beloved member of the church choir. When climbing the stairs to the choir loft became too difficult for Ron, he could be heard leading the “congregational choir” from whichever pew he was in for Mass. He loved singing at Mass and seeing his fellow parishioners.  Door2Door Rides made it possible for him to continue attending after he could no longer drive. Through his Catholic faith, he was a 4th Degree member of the local Knights of Columbus council in Wausau and served as Faith Navigator for the (regional) general assembly. When he moved to Sturgeon Bay, he joined the Msgr. Alfonse Broens Council 2478. Those who knew Ron knew what a hard worker he was. He was also very generous. Ron bought a Model A and devoted his spare time to restoring the car to show form. He amassed quite the trophy collection from entering his car in various shows. Ron also had a passion for woodworking and taught his sons well. Together, he and Lillian enjoyed wintering in Texas and later Florida at Burnt Store Colony in Punta Gorda, FL. They had many friends and enjoyed social activities. Once they had grandchildren, they didn’t go south for too long in the winter. Ron was honored and glad to be able to help drive fellow veterans to their doctor appointments. When Lillian first bought her dog, Luci, Ron made it clear that Luci was going to be Lillian’s dog and her responsibility. Upon Lillian’s death however, Luci became a beloved companion for Ron. They became a well-known duo as he rode his red scooter with Luci running ahead of him on their daily route. Ron was blessed with amazing neighbors (Delores, Chuck, Darren, Blake, Dave, and many others) who helped him with so many things while he maintained a strong desire to live at home. Mary Larson was a blessing to him as well. 

Ron will be very missed by his sons, Wade Gauger of Sturgeon Bay and Brad (Michelle) Gauger of Green Bay; daughter-in-law, Cindy Gauger of the Town of Silver Cliff; grandchildren, Jill (Josh) Paul and Matthew Gauger, and Lance, Lexie, and William Gauger; great-grandchildren, Landen Paul, and Jayden and Jazzy; sister, Virginia “Ginny” Davide of Wausau; other relatives; and friends; and of course, Luci.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Chad (2016); sisters, Delores (Richard “Dick”) Valentine, Violet (“Tezzy”) Katowski, and Diane (Jerry) Butterfield; siblings-in-law, Delores (Robert “Bob”) Kersten, Phyllis (Robert “Bob”) Bartelt, and Stanley “Lawrence” (Donna) Stoltz; and other relatives.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant. Ron will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Mausoleum in the Town of Sevastopol with military honors by the United States Navy and V.F.W. Post #3088.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass.

Memorials may be given in Ron’s name for the St. Joseph Choir or Door CANcer Inc. as they were so helpful when Lillian needed their assistance.

Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Door County Medical Center for the kind care given to Ron over the years.”

Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC are assisting the Gauger family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Ron may be shared with his family through his tribute page at