Dr. George Auer

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Dr. George Auer, 86, of Guttenberg, died Thursday, May 14, 2015, at the Guttenberg Care Center.

Visitation was one hour before services at the church.

Funeral services were Monday, May 18, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, conducted by Rev. Marvin Bries.

Inurnment was at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery, Guttenberg.

Arrangements were handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Guttenberg.

George was born on Sept. 8, 1928, on a farm near Garnavillo, the son of George and Pearl (Chettinger) Auer.

George graduated from the Garnavillo High School then attended Loras College for three years. He went on to graduate from the University of Iowa Medical School and served an internship at Detroit Receiving Hospital. George served his country proudly in the United States Air Force from November 1954 to November 1956, including one year in Korea. On Dec. 31, 1955, George married the love of his life, JoAnn Helen Lake at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Guttenberg. They would have been married 60 years in December. After his honorable discharge, he was a resident surgeon at Detroit Receiving Hospital. They later returned to the Guttenberg area to practice surgery in Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin. George’s practice covered Guttenberg, Elkader, Waukon, Postville, Decorah, Dyersville and Prairie du Chien, Wis. 

George was a lifelong Catholic, who dedicated his life to his family and career. He knew he was called to leave the farm to be a surgeon from a very young age. He was passionate about his work and truly loved what he did. He often shared that performing surgery brought him so much joy he did not even consider it work. Not only did he give 110% to his career, but he also fully embraced and lived out his calling as a husband and father. His love for JoAnn penetrated the family home, as they complemented one another while raising eight children. Despite the demands of his career and being the head of a large family, George made time to indulge in his great love of hunting. He was one of only a few hunters who accomplished the Double Grand Slam of ram hunting. He also competed and excelled in numerous state trapshooting competitions. George was never timid or shy in sharing his honest opinion about any topic. Due to his love of learning, he couldn’t resist administering his famous dictionary pop quizzes to anyone who dared sit in his living room. In his mind, Latin was never dead. George believed every child deserved three things: as much education as desired, a good roof over their head, and a good example to follow. He was an inspiration to many and will be greatly missed. We pray that his soul is in heaven and that his golf shots finally fly straight and far. 

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, JoAnn; children, Mary (Mike) Tangeman, Diane (Roger) Hess, John (Sandy) Auer, Linda (David III) Brown, Grace Heitman, Gloria (Sean) Maxwell, and David (Misty) Auer; grandchildren, Jennifer (Nick) Mixdorf, Michele Tangeman, Marlene, Hollyann, and Sophia Hess, Amber Hagen, Billy and Amanda Auer, MacKenzie and George Brown, Hope and Haley Heitman, and Isabella, Gabriel, John Paul, and Emeric Auer; great grandchildren, Nathanael and Adam Mixdorf; siblings, Patricia Niehaus and Dr. James and Jill Auer; in-laws, Carlton and Wilma Lake.

He was preceded in death by parents; daughter, Lisa Auer Hagen; siblings, Theodore Auer and Fr. Robert Auer; in-laws, Robert Niehaus and Bernita Auer.

The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the nursing home doctors, nurses and staff for their loving care these last few years and Fr. Bries for his pastoral support and for administering the sacraments to him.

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