On December 4, 2023, Richard Gauerke traveled back to “The Road To Thinkhamtown” one of his favorite stories. His back trail is filled with risk, adventure, camaraderie, love and emotion. He always had time to share his skills with youngsters who shared his passions as kindred spirits.
A native of Wisconsin, Richard graduated from high school in Winneconne and the University of Wisconsin Stout. He served as a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Army.
He often said, “he wasn’t born in North Dakota, but he got here as quick as he could!” He became a North Dakota transplant in 1975 and was instrumental in creating community programs for developmentally disabled persons including the formation of Pride Industries and served as Pride’s Executive Director from 1978 to 1989.
Partnering with his wife Jane, they embarked on a variety of entrepreneurial ventures in The Mall of America, the 5th Avenue mall in Anchorage, Alaska, and North Dakota. They operated Flyn n Buy Snack and Gift Shop in the Bismarck Airport for many years.
As a popular camp cook and avid outdoorsman, he created, “Something Wild” a series of four cookbooks for preparing fish and game. He enjoyed demonstrating his skills in the kitchen and the campsite. He also enjoyed writing stories of friends and adventures for publication as “Ghosts in My Campfire.” He loved his family, the prairies of North Dakota, the Missouri River, his Rocky Run hunting camp, good bourbon, good food, and the many friends and dogs he encountered in his life.
He is survived by his loving wife, Jane; daughter, Lisa; son, Scott (Laura) Gauerke, and their children, Madisyn (Noah), Grant, and Levi; step-son, Todd (Lindsey) Tescher, and their children, Chase, Lauren, and Brea; sister, Mary Cooke and her granddaughters, Emma, Ella, and Eva Nissen.
It was a heck of a ride, thanks to all whose life he touched.
Cremation has taken place. A graveside service at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, will be held at a later date.