GAUGE SYLAS SPRIK was born on February 24, 2013 at Sanford Hospital in Luverne, Minnesota. He was raised by his mother in Jasper, Minnesota, and was a nearly perfect child. He was tender hearted and sensitive to emotion around him, hardly ever requiring a firm word. He loved to make people laugh and Gauge himself had a giggle that couldn’t be resisted even if you tried. This contagious sound could often be heard when he was video chatting with his cousins. He was described as comical and was always so happy. He was a determined and energetic boy; his mom says he was never a good sleeper but was always up for the next adventure. He had a remarkable imagination.
Gauge was complemented by his 1st grade teacher at Edgerton Public School, Mrs. Delaney, that he would always raise his hand. If he was ever corrected he would try so hard to get it right because he was always wanting to make people proud. He always succeeded. The kids at his daycare were always excited on the days when Gauge was there saying “Gauge is here! Gauge is here!” He was the kind of kid who became everyone’s favorite. Recently, he had been venturing out on his own around the block, trying out his independence and visiting with everyone he could along the way. Gauge would share belongings without prompting, which was evident at parades when he would run for candy and give it to the other kids or when he would bring his toys to school to give them away. One time he was caught going into his piggy bank so he could bring money to school, explaining to his mom that he had a classmate who needed the money to buy the toy that they wanted.
Gauge had so many people who he loved, and who loved him. He’d spend time being loved at grandma’s in Hardwick where he enjoyed being pushed in the hammock. He’d also spend time on the ranch by Jasper playing outside with the animals, especially the cats. He loved to spend time with friends and family and would ask to battle whether it be with his legos or dressing up to battle with someone else. Even though he would spend time at many different places he could always keep track of his toys; Gauge’s memory was sharp. He always knew exactly where he put each and every toy and when he didn’t have toys along, grandpa knew who to blame when the headlight boxes at the NAPA store were stacked into a pyramid on the shelf.
Deanne and Gauge were a team, he would often go to work with Deanne and decided he would work with her at JJ’s when he grew up. There didn’t seem to be much of a question on that life plan. That doesn’t mean Deanne and Gauge did everything on their own though. Living in Jasper meant they were surrounded by a community of people who were family to them both. Gauge was considered a son to many, so much so that Deanne describes him as “everyone’s kid.” This is part of what made Gauge so special, he was loved by many, which meant he had endless amounts of love to give. Looking at Gauge’s life, it is clear that the lyrics to Gauge’s favorite song ring true: “God is on the move.”
On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Gauge was welcomed into the arms of Jesus at the age of 7 years, 7 months and 6 days.
Gauge’s spirit will live on in the hearts of many which include his mother, Deanne and her boyfriend, Troy Kounkel of Jasper; grandparents, Randy (Dorothy) Sprik of Edgerton; grandmother Ancerita Van Hofwegen-Sprik of Hardwick; uncle, Daniel Van Hofwegen and his children, Wilder, Cora, Vera and Mahpiya of Minneapolis; aunt, Cerrita (David) Tracy and their children Anne, Emma, Ruby and Rose of Des Moines; aunt, Laresa (Ryan) Reed and their baby boy of Des Moines; maternal great-grandmother, Mary Van Hofwegen of Edgerton; paternal great-grandparents, Stanley and Leona Sprik of Edgerton; and numerous other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his maternal great-grandfather, Dick Van Hofwegen.
Hartquist Funeral Home in Jasper and Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall are collaborating to serve the family.