Duane “Wayne Sr.” F. Gauger, age 74 of Rothschild, formerly of Clintonville passed away Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Edgewater Haven in Port Edwards.
Duane Floyd Gauger was born on February 19, 1948 in Wausau as the son of the late Floyd and Dora (Krueger) Gauger. He graduated from Wausau High School in 1967 and went on to serve his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Duane served for 4 years prior to his honorable discharge and was always very proud and protective of the United States flag. He was united in marriage to Pat Wanta on March 13, 1981 in Waupaca. The couple resided in Clintonville and raised a son Wayne Jr. prior to their divorce. While in Clintonville Duane worked for Everson’s IGA for over 12 years and then for Vlasic Pickles in Bonduel for 10 more years. Duane also worked for a few years at Graceland Cemetery in Clintonville. He was a life member of the D.A.V. Chapter 53 and also the Wausau Man of Honor Society. Duane would literally sit on the edge of his seat watching Nascar while cheering on Dale Earnhardt, Sr. He enjoyed spoiling his pets; whether it was his steers he raised or his dogs, he was always sneaking them treats. Duane also enjoyed building model cars, die casting cars, attending a good demo derby, playing bar bingo, pushing the limits in his Monte Carlo, and watching his son Choo Choo race. He had a larger than life personality and was able to make friends everywhere he went.
Survivors include: His Children: Wayne Gauger, Jr. and Tonya (James) Searles.
Adopted Sons: Timothy Zilch and Marty Kositzke.
Grandchildren: Benjamin Welch and Zachary Searles.
Sisters: Peggy Pepin & Hilda “Tina” Tesch.
Special cousins Don (Mary) Krueger.
Also grand dogs: Buick & Junior.
Duane was preceded in death by his mother, Dora Weisenberger; father, Floyd Gauger, son-in-law Ron Welch, in-laws Bill & Irene Wanta, brothers-in-law Aaron Pepin & Billy Wanta, a sister-in-law Renee Meyer, and his dog Buddy.
A Celebration of Life for Duane will be held Friday January 20, 2023 from 4pm-7pm at the Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory with military honors conducted at 4pm by members of the D.A.V. Chapter 53, American Legion Post #63, VFW Post #664, and American Legion Auxiliary Unit #63 all of Clintonville. A second Celebration will be held on Saturday January 21, 2023 from 12noon-2pm at Richard’s Restaurant and Bar, 5305 N. 32nd Ave, Wausau. Urn placement will take place at the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, WI.
Duane’s family would like to thank the caring ER and Oncology staff at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau and also at Edgewater Haven for taking such good care of Duane. An online guestbook can be found at www.eberhardtstevenson.com