John A. Gauss of Salida passed away peacefully from this life at his home on Monday, August 23, 2021 with his two sons by his side. John was 98 years old and is survived by his two sons, Steven Gauss and Mark Gauss (Molly), two grandsons Noah Gauss (Serina) and Peter Gauss (Micaela). John is also survived by six great grandchildren, a niece and nephew, and many young friends. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Dorothea Palm Gauss, his parents George and Ethel Gauss, sister Kathryne and his contemporary friends.
John was born in 1922 in Denver, Colorado where he grew up and attended high school. John worked for the telephone company after graduation when he met his soul mate Dorothea in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. After working for the telephone company, he joined the Army Air Corp and became a pilot flying P-38 and P-51 fighter aircraft during WW2. Soon after John enlisted, he and Dorothea were married. They had their first child Steve in 1947. After the war, John worked as a manager for national finance company for 15 before he and Dorothea started their own business financing insurance policy premiums. They also began buying, improving, renting, and then reselling homes. The business expanded when John got his real estate brokers license and worked with Century 21. In the latter part of his real estate career and into his semi-retirement, he and Dorothea specialized in buying special mountain farm and ranch properties that they would live at, improve, and resell. They enlisted a group of investors to be in the purchase, use and improvement of properties, and they enjoyed many long friendships with their investor partners.
Part of being a member of the Gauss family meant being able to visit and enjoy many beautiful places in Colorado. John and Dorothea financed many property sales including sales to family members. Loans to family members were treated like any others and payments were expected to be made in a timely manner. John taught his sons financial responsibility and an appreciation for capitalism while demonstrating patience and generosity. John will be greatly missed by those who have known him and his loss as the patriarch of the Gauss family is especially poignant to those of us who carry on.
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