Jeffrey Gauss
Jeffrey Gauss

Obituary of Jeffrey Allen Gauss

Jeffrey Allen Gauss, age 55, passed away June 17, 2020 at Aspirus Hospice House from Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. Given Covid-19, public health, and respecting his wishes, there will be no public service. However, Jeff said his friends should feel free to get together in his memory. Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Gauss family. Jeff was born July 27, 1964 in Hancock, MI to James and Sally Gauss. They moved to Wisconsin Rapids when Jeff was nearly two after his father graduated from college. Jeff graduated from Lincoln High School in 1982, attended UW-Stevens Point before transferring to UW-Eau Claire where he graduated with a degree in Marketing. Jeff began working at a young age delivering papers for the Daily Tribune. When he was old enough, he worked at Wilburn’s restaurant as a busboy and then a waiter. After graduating from college, Jeff worked in radio sales in the Fox Valley Area, earning many top sales awards, always playing music and gigs whenever he could. He returned to his hometown where he worked in advertising at the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune before moving to Madison to work in the music industry, primarily running lights and sound, and booking top talent. When he returned to Wisconsin Rapids, Jeff worked at the Consolidated Papers Biron mill for a short time, ran the music at Wisconsin Rapids Rafters games, continued to perform with several local bands, and worked at Hollyrocks as a bartender, hosting Monday night jam sessions. Jeff was an incredibly talented artist and musician. Although he couldn’t read music, Jeff taught himself how to play guitar as a teenager, eventually taking a few lessons, and even taught guitar to several at-risk youth when he was in high school. He closely related to them as he was one too. Jeff was a truly gifted musician. At UW-EC, he and some fellow college students started Envelopment, a psychedelic rock and blues band that wrote and performed a lot of their own original music. After graduation, Jeff played with the Bol Weavils which changed its name to the Weavils, hence his local nickname “Weavil”. It was with this band that he wrote the song, “Make It Happen”, often performed locally. Local bands he performed and wrote songs with include the Lizardz, KGP Conspiracy and Sinner Street. Nationally, Jeff knew and played with some well-known musicians, including Todd Rungren, and Blue Oyster Cult founding members Buck Dharma and Albert Bouchard. When Jeff’s memory really started to decline, often getting confused and losing some of his speech, he worked hard to hide it, especially from his family. It was difficult, but losing his music as a result of his dementia was detrimental to his emotional well-being and soul. Although Jeff’s personal life choices led him down a difficult road, often saying that anything past age 30 were bonus years, of which he had 25, Jeff always gave of his time and talent to help others freely, without reservation. Jeff was an incredibly proud Uncle. He rarely missed an opportunity to see or spend time with his local nephew and niece. From the moment they were born, he was there. He rarely missed a holiday or event. Jeff coached their t-ball teams, attended band and choir concerts, marching and pep band performances, school open houses, dance recitals and traveled to see his niece perform on tour. Uncle Jeff was known and loved by so many kids in the Wisconsin Rapids and Port Edwards communities. When his younger nephew and niece were born, he traveled to visit them as often as possible. These kids were his heart, and they love and will miss him dearly. Jeff is survived by his mother; sister and guardian Deborah (Brian) Bobrowski, Wisconsin Rapids; sister Kimberly (Jason) Shields, Port Edwards; brother Craig (Rachelle) Gauss, Ringle; and nephews and nieces Christopher Shields, Megan Shields, Logan Gauss and Thea Gauss. He is also survived by special friends Grant Meyer, Marianne Brown, Larry “Lars” Steinke, previous bandmates, his trivia team, and many friends in the music community. Jeff was predeceased by his father, grandparents, several uncles and a cousin. The family would like to thank Amy Pingel, the staff at Tender Reflections, Genesis Therapy, Inclusa, Aspirus Palliative Care and Hospice House for taking such good care of Jeff. In Jeff’s memory, please do something nice for someone in need and support our local music community. If you’re financially able, please make a donation in his memory to Friends of Rapids Music at www.frmgroup.org or Kids From Wisconsin at www.kidsfromwisconsin.org/support.
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