Wayne Otto Gauger

Feb. 4, 1933 - Feb. 23, 2019

Wayne Otto Gauger was one of the top salesmen in the country during his decades-long career as parts manager for Hull Chevrolet in Southampton, and he was just as industrious when it came to his prodigious home vegetable garden and passion for hunting and fishing, all hobbies he enjoyed sharing with his children.

“We used to have two freezers in our basement in Sag Harbor — one was for fish and game, and one was for the vegetables he grew,” Mr. Gauger’s son Stephen Gauger said last week. “I remember we used to shell peas and lima beans till my fingers were sore. He grew everything.”

Mr. Gauger, who was 86, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 23 at Southampton Hospital.

He was born to Erwin Gauger and the former Jeannette Hart in Milwaukee on Feb. 4, 1933. 

After finishing high school in Wisconsin, Mr. Gauger attended Naval Air Technical Training Centers in Memphis and Jacksonville, Fla. It was in Florida that he met his future wife, Mary Ann Santacroce, a native of Sag Harbor. 

The Gaugers were married on July 2, 1955, and moved to Sag Harbor to build a house and start a family. Mr. Gauger was a dedicated usher at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and a Cub Scout leader when their children were young, and he enjoyed participating in local bowling leagues for many years. 

After his retirement from Hull Chevrolet, he kept working, as a delivery  man for the Bridgehampton Florist. He and his wife were married for 59 years. Mrs. Gauger died in 2014.

In addition to Stephen Gauger, who lives in Springs, Mr. Gauger is survived by two other sons, Christopher Gauger and Joseph Gauger, both of Springs, and a daughter, Ann Gauger of Greene, N.Y. He leaves six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a sister, Lynne Goldbach of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The date of a service has yet to be determined. The family has suggested memorial donations to the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1241, Sag Harbor 11963, or the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons at arfhamptons.org.