Mike Gau, 54, was a lieutenant with the Belle Plaine Fire Department in Minnesota. He was a 23-year volunteer firefighter and a well-respected leader and mentor. He also worked as a construction worker for Veit & Company. Tyler and Taylor were his two children from his marriage to Jenny Gau.
Mike Gau Obituary: Remembering His Life and Legacy
An honorary parade was organized on Thursday, September 1, 2023, to commemorate Lt. Gau’s life and service. The procession left Minnetonka around 4:00 p.m. and drove east on Highway 62 to Interstate 494, then south on Highway 169.
At at 4:30 p.m., the ceremonial procession exited Highway 169 at Main Street (Highway 25). The parade continued through Belle Plaine, heading north on Walnut Street and west on State Street until arriving at Kolden Funeral Home.
Several other fire departments, like the Montgomery Fire Department, showed their respects as well, hanging a flag on a ladder truck in memorial of the fallen fireman. Many people lined the streets to express their love and support for Lt. Gau and his family.
How Did Mike Gau Die?
Mike Gau died on August 30, 2023, after being hit by a dump truck while working in a construction zone near the intersection of Rockford Road and Nathan Lane North in Plymouth.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the site. The dump truck driver cooperated with the police inquiry, and no charges were brought.
A Devastating Loss for the Community
Around 12:30 p.m., Mike Gau was working as a flagger at the intersection of Rockford Road and Nathan Lane North when he was hit by the truck. He was declared dead at the site.
The dump truck driver, a 24-year-old Maple Grove male, remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. The incident is still being investigated.
Gau had been a volunteer firefighter for 23 years, and he was well-liked and respected by his coworkers and the community.
Belle Plaine Fire Department Relief Association shared a Facebook post to tribute to Mike Gau-
Yestesday we lost one of our brothers. A 23 year veteran of our department Mike Gau was tragically killed in a work accident yesterday. Our friends at Henderson Fire said it best “Mike could usually be located by following the laughs on a fire ground. He will be greatly missed.” We, along with other departments, will be coming through Jordan this afternoon after 4pm along 169 bringing Mike back to Belle Plaine. Rest easy Mike, we’ll take it from here.
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A Joyful Presence and a Devoted Volunteer
Lt. Gau began his career with the Belle Plaine Fire Department in 2000 and has been a lieutenant since 2010. He was a diligent volunteer who attended to hundreds of calls ranging from fires to medical emergencies to vehicle accidents throughout the years. He was also involved in community events and fire prevention education.
Mike Gau was well-known for his upbeat nature and sense of humor. He could always make his coworkers and those he assisted laugh and grin. Henderson Fire & Rescue described him as someone who “could usually be located by following the laughs on a fire ground.” He was also a devoted spouse, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to a large number of people.
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