SAUER, AUGUSTA (GUSTIE) VCELA (8 Sept. 1893-3 Nov. 1985) was a licensed funeral director and co-founder, with her husband, Carl Henry Sauer, of Sauer funeral homes on Cleveland's West Side.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Gustie and her 3 siblings came to Cleveland about 1902, following their mother Anna's death. They settled on W. 46th St. with their father, Josef Vcela, who had immigrated sometime in the 1890s. After his death (ca. 1903-04) all four children entered an orphanage.

Gustie received an eighth grade education. At age 14 she left the orphanage to board with a couple and do housework. At age 16 she joined JOSEPH & FEISS CO., clothing manufacturers, as a seamstress.

Gustie married Carl Sauer in 1916. In 1922 Carl became a licensed embalmer and funeral director. In 1924 they opened Sauer's Funeral Home at 5303 Storer Ave. (now closed), where Gustie did the hair, make-up and clothing for the deceased and chauffered the hearse.

In 1934 Gustie became a licensed funeral director. In 1938 the Sauers opened a second funeral home at 4801 Memphis Ave. In 1946 the Sauers' sons joined the business. Gustie retired in 1965, yet continued as consultant to the family business.

Gustie belonged to the Cuyahoga, Ohio, and National Funeral Directors Associations.

A skilled horsewoman and instructor, Gustie, with Carl, operated Sauer's Riding Academy on Tiedeman Rd. in Brooklyn Village during the 1930s.

The Sauers had 3 children, Charles, Donald, and Janice (Szilagyi). Gustie belonged to the Bethany United Church of Christ. She is buried in RIVERSIDE CEMETERY.

Article Categories