Obituary of Annemarie Gauger
Annemarie “Ann” Gauger, a mother, homemaker, co-owner of Gauger Products, and Boston Symphony wife passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, December 30, 2018. She was 82 years old. The daughter of Hans and Anni Maier, Ann was born and raised in Nabburg, Germany - a small village in Bavaria, during World War II and the post war occupation. Since Nabburg was a very small community, education and job opportunities were very limited, so at the age of 20, Ann immigrated to the United States, settling in Illinois with an American sponsor. She spoke some English, but it was far from perfect. Then came a fateful blind date with a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Thomas Gauger. Accompanying Tom on the date was an English to German Dictionary but the language issue was not a barrier. A romance blossomed and the couple married in December of 1957. Tom was still in graduate school, so they lived in student housing, and they managed to survive on Tom’s pay as an assistant professor and her working. Tom finished graduate school as a percussionist, played four years in the Oklahoma City Symphony, and in 1963 settled with his family in Brookline after winning an audition to become a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The symphony was an incredible opportunity for Tom, and Ann embraced all the opportunities offered to members and their families. When her children were young, she managed the home and their, 5 children, including 2 sets of twins, often alone when Tom was touring with the symphony. There were several European Concert tours which Ann and the 5 children accompanied the symphony. There were limits on baggage, and by some creative packing, Ann packed for her and the 5 children in 2 suitcases. It was a wonderful opportunity for her children to tour Europe as well as visit with her family in Germany. When the children were grown, she traveled more with Tom on symphony tours and other trips. They visited all over Europe, China, Japan, the Philippines, South America, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Alaska, and the United States. Because many of the trips were with the Symphony, they were afforded rare opportunities to attend State Dinners, converse with Ambassadors, visit royal palaces, stay in regal hotels, and enjoy countless other unique experiences. Summers were spent at their cottage in Stockbridge as the Symphony played at their summer home Tanglewood. As a child Ann could never have expected or imagined that she would see so much of the world.
Ann was a woman who never lost her humility. She could live on a budget and was never afraid of hard work. She helped run Gauger Products, which made handmade drum sticks and mallets products for amateurs to the most renowned musicians. She helped with fabrication,orders, and shipping. She was an extremely frugal shopper. She made some of her own and her children’s clothing, and entertained her family in creative style. The family camped regularly from when the children were young to the current day. She also instilled family traditions including Birthday Weekends, Gauger Family Camping trips, New Year’s Eves at the Pops, February Family Film Festivals, Christmas Tree Shopping Parties, and countless holidays, and family celebrations. She enjoyed kayaking well before it was a popular sport. She enjoyed oil painting, ice skating, swimming, photography, and all sorts of crafts. She continued traveling with Tom during their retirement years driving cross country and visiting National Parks, museums, and natural wonders all across the United States. They traveled to China to see and walk the Great Wall. There are so many adjectives used to describe Ann including bright, beautiful, funny, driven, kind, creative, witty, spontaneous, doer, gracious, gregarious and most important “Loving”. During her long illness and final days, her husband Tom, and her entire family all gathered to care for her as she had done for them her entire life. She passed with classical music playing, her home filled with her children and their spouses, as she gently slipped away surrounded with love and gratitude for the impact she had on all their lives.
Ann was the loving wife of Thomas L. Gauger for 61 years. She was the loving mother of Diana Giuffrida & her husband Fred of Hudson, NH, Linda Oxford & her husband Doug of Concord, NH, Steven Gauger & his wife Elise of Billerica, Karin Merlino & her husband Andrew of Burlington, and Suzanne Steele of Brookline. She was the sister of Hans Maier of Nabburg, Germany. She was the proud grandmother “Oma” of Kevin Giuffrida & his wife Morgan, Kayla Calabro & her husband Bill, Thomas Gauger II, Whitney Lambert & her husband Bryan, Elizabeth Clancy & her husband John, Kierstin & Nicholas Merlino, Robert, William, Mathew, & Kristopher Steele, and Heather & Michael Oxford. In 2018 she was overjoyed to become the great grandmother of Colt Lambert and another great grandchild on the way.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Friday, Jan. 4 from 4-8 p.m. A funeral service will be held at All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St., Brookline on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. The interment will be private. Memorials in Ann’s name may be made to Cure Alzheimer’s fund (https://curealz.org). For directions obituary & online guestbook see www.allsaintsbrookline.org or www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050