William (Bill) Gauer died September 15, 2020, at the age of 92. He was born on the family farm on Waterloo Road in Akron, on Friday the 13th, July, 1928, to Joseph and Anna Griggy Gauer, who said she never considered Friday the 13th unlucky. In his youth, Bill helped on the farm, but preferred riding his motorcycle, playing the accordion, or ushering at the Starlite Drive In. He enjoyed steam engines, fishing, physics, cats and his Airedales. He was a voracious reader and loved learning. He graduated from Garfield High School, and shortly after, met his wife, Hazel Baird, at the Springfield Lake Roller Rink. They married in 1950, the same year he was drafted into the Army. He served in England and Germany working in precision timepiece repair.
He returned to Akron and worked as a precision machinist for Freitag Mfg. Company, and earned a government security clearance. In 1966, he and Hazel bought a small 4-person machine shop and grew it to a successful business, Gauer Mold and Machine, in Tallmadge, which was considered one of the finest mold making facilities in the country. They employed an excellent staff of about 50 machinists, draftsmen, and foremen, and could have grown larger, but Bill liked that size. He always felt the responsibility of providing an income for 50 families. During tough times, he would take unprofitable work to avoid layoffs. He was proud of their work: molds for plastic injection and rotational molding, which ranged from small, such as milk bottle caps, to massive, agricultural stock tanks, and included diverse industries, from toys to automotive parts. He and Hazel were recognized for making significant contributions to the plastics industry and were named to the Pioneer Club of the Society of the Plastics Industry.
Bill served on the Boards of the Akron Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association, and the Akron NTMA Training Center. He was also a life member of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Bill was entirely self-taught in metallurgy and plastics engineering. He loved his work, and only retired at 80 due to his declining health. When asked what he most enjoyed about working, he answered without hesitation, “The challenge.”
He loved the outdoors and planned at least two fishing trips to Quebec every year. He was never happier than when fishing for walleye on Lake Erie or Lac des Quinze with his family. He will be remembered for his good business instincts, generosity, sense of humor, and kind spirit.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel in 2018, parents, Joe and Anna, brother, Paul and sister, Arlene Rogers. He is survived by his daughter Linda Gauer, his beloved son-in-law, Sam McCoy, his adored grandchildren, Lena and Wilson McCoy, and several nieces and nephews.
Interment will take place at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date to be determined. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to JDRF, 26 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10004 (jdrf.org/donate) or to Alzheimer's Association. 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 (Alz.org/donate).
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