Clyde "Gus" Traeder

Born: Sun., Aug. 9, 1925
Died: Mon., Jun. 13, 2016


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thu., Jun. 16, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Jun. 17, 2016
Location: Luther Memorial Church

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Fri., Jun. 17, 2016
Location: Luther Memorial Church

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Clyde “Gus” Traeder, 90, of Quincy, died at 8:52 pm Monday (June 13, 2016) in Blessing Hospital.

Born August 9, 1925, in Rome, Wisconsin, Gus was the son of Albert and Elsie Vinz Traeder. He married Trudy Riley, who preceded him in death in 1953. He married Fern Mixer on June 18, 1955, in Camp Point, Illinois. She survives.

In 1949, Gus moved to Quincy from Wisconsin to manage the Montgomery Ward Farm store. In that position, he was introduced to a new product called the go-kart, which changed his and his family’s life and influenced the Quincy community for the next several decades.

Gus and his wife Fern built TNT Kartways in West Quincy to sell and race these vehicles, and within six years, ABC Wide World of Sports televised a national championship at the facility, introducing the sport to a national audience. Eighteen national championships and over a dozen vintage kart races were held at the track over the years, making Quincy a destination for go-kart racers from all over the world. The Miller Grand Prix of Karting Classic, originally created and promoted by Gus as part of Quincy’s Dogwood Festival, ran in South Park for 32 years following its premiere in 1970. In more recent years, Gus took karting to Maine Street with the Uptown Karting Classic, and put on races in many other states. Gus and Fern also started and operated several successful franchises, including the Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Honda motorcycle lines, and a multitude of additional product lines over the years, including Datsun, MG and Jaguar autos and Schwinn bicycles.  In 1977, Gus was awarded the first Yamaha golf car distributorship in the nation.

Gus was a tireless supporter of the Quincy Blue Devil basketball program, and over 30 years, put in many hours on behalf of the program, including serving on the founding committee of the Thanksgiving Holiday Tournament. In the early 1970’s, Gus and Fern donated the scoreboard currently decorating the south wall of the gymnasium.

For his contribution to the sport of go-karting, Gus was elected to the World Karting National Racing Hall of Fame. He was the first inductee to the Vintage Karting Hall of Fame, named as Karting’s Greatest Promoter.  Gus is a member of the Quincy High Sports Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Quincy Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame in 2013.  

Gus loved Quincy, often describing it as the “best community in the world.” Those who knew Gus admired his love for competition and negotiation, his charisma and drive, and his courage to create and promote new ventures and events.  At age 88, he started his last venture, TNT Gold Cup Seniors, a league for golfers over the age of 60.

Gus was a member of Luther Memorial Church.

Survivors include his wife Fern; a son, Terry Traeder (Glori) of Quincy; a daughter, Tamara Traeder of St. Helena, CA; three grandchildren, Jason Traeder (Jamie) of Quincy, Tara Traeder Waldman (Justin) of San Diego, CA, and Paige Traeder of Chicago, IL; three great grandchildren, Calvin Rory Traeder, Silas Ronald Traeder and Benjamin August Waldman; two brothers, Howard Traeder (Jane) of Muskego, WI and Dwayne Traeder of New Richmond, WI; two sisters, Corrine Shaw of Janesville, WI and Yvonne Richards of Black River Falls, WI; and many nieces and nephews. Gus was preceded in death by his parents; a sister in law, Maxine Traeder; and two brothers in law, James Shaw and Terry Richards.

Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 11:00 in Luther Memorial Church, 12th & Jersey, Quincy, with Pastor Tony Metz officiating. Burial will be in Greenmount Cemetery.

Visitation will be Thursday evening from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Luther Memorial Church, and Friday morning from 10:00 until the time of services at Luther Memorial Church.

The Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to Luther Memorial Church or to Chaddock School.

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Condolence Booklet

Dick & Pat Wentura
   Posted Tue June 14, 2016
Dear Traeder Family,
We are saddened to learn of Gus' death. He was a very successful business man and promoter. We are happy to have been associated with him over the years.
Sincere condolences,
Dick & Pat Wenturaq

Beatrice and Lisa Lenes
   Posted Tue June 14, 2016
We are so very sorry to hear of the family's loss. Gus and his wife were good friends of our parents Seymour and Flora (who we have now lost). We left Quincy when we were little girls but I have good memories of some of my parent's very very nice friends who my parents were so fond of, Gus and family among them. Sending much sympathy to the family, our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

Richard and Fern Heitholt
   Posted Tue June 14, 2016
Dear Fern, Terry, Tammy and Traeder family,
What a legend has departed! Gus crowded many more successful years than 90 into his memorable life. Dick was fortunate to visit Gus a week ago to hold his hand in prayer and thanks. We join the many who pay tribute to his competitive spirit, enterprising initiative, community enthusiasm and love of family.
We send our sincere condolences, God's Blessings and best wishes as you extend the memory of a special man.

Russ Hill
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
Dear Terry,

I want to express my sincere condolences and also my thanks for knowing your father.

He was a great guy and a true benefactor to Quincy and all who knew him. My prayers are with you and your family.

Mitch White
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
I was blessed to stumble into TNT when I was 14 years old, trying to buy a go-kart with my lawn-mowing & snow-shoveling money. Gus sold me a kart, and he and Terry took me under their wing as friends, family and mentors. 40 years later, I'm still involved and passionate about the sport. The impact Gus had on my life between life-lessons, personal highlights, and learned business & community commitment acumen was immeasurable. I hope his monument stone reads, 'The Man.' I think it would be appropriate….

With condolences and love to the Traeder family, ~Mitch White

Rus & Diana Hogge Hagenah
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
So sorry for your loss. My dad loved spending time with both of you. He will miss him a lot. He spent many years working, playing and visiting with the Traeder family. Our prayers go out to the family as you lay a great man to rest.

Sallie Cunningham and Paul Deutsch
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
Dear Traeder Family -

We send our deepest sympathy during your time of loss and grief. May you find joy and peace as you reflect upon fond family memories.

With sympathy,
Sallie Cunningham and Paul Deutsch

Rusty Plunkett
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
To the Traeder Family aka TNT ! I'm so sad to have heard the passing of Gus! Gus give me a chance years ago to becomes a salesman for TNT back in the 70s and early 80s he mentored me in sales and taught me good work ethics, hustle and I still today practice them. Respect people mostly and be kind to people. Gus was a absolute successful entrepreneur in the gocart industry and motorcycle industry and the golf cart bussiness world wide, even built a custom golf cart for the pope to ride in when the pope visited the United States. Gus was the most classiest guy I have still ever met to this day. Gus never quit working he lived life to fullest and loved his family . Rip Gus

Mikie Brandt Crawford
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
So sorry for your loss! He will be missed by so many. Thinking and praying for you at this time.

Bob & Chris Shearburn
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
To Terry and his family

We are all saddened to hear of Gus’s passing and will all miss him very much. He was a fantastic person and a true icon in the sport of kart racing. I’m sure the sport would not have been as successful in the Midwest without his influence. I will never forget all the great times we had attending his events and feel myself very fortunate to have known him.

Mike & Barb Hutmacher
   Posted Wed June 15, 2016
We are sorry to hear of Gus' passing. He was such a blessing to Quincy and had so much energy to make it a better place in which to work and play. We will not forget him.

We are sorry that we will be unable to visit with you as we are in Florida (somewhere that Gus was certainly familiar with). However, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Our best to each of Gus' family members and friends!

Mike & Barb Hutmacher

Mike Huntley-Lashmett
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
My heartfelt condolences to Fern, Terry and all the Traeder family. Gus was an exceptional man of whom I will always carry fond memories. Thanks Gus for your enduring spirit and friendship.

Chuck & Sandy Polley
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
We will always remember Gus as a Great Man and a wonderful person to our son's who race, and our grandsons. God Bless all of the Traeder Family in their loss.

Bob & Terri Brewer
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
Dear Traeders,
Terri & I are sorry to hear of Gus' passing but, as Terry perfectly summed it up, “He had a great life.” My favorite memories with Gus were when I worked at TNT, working behind the scenes with him on his events, whether karting or golf tournaments, as well as being a flagman at his races. He was always full-speed-ahead in whatever project he was working on and had the gift of “squeezing blood from a turnip” when it came to getting sponsors for his events... He will be missed & was definitely one of Quincy's “Gems.”

Barbara Rowell
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
To all the Traeder family...I am thinking of all of you at this difficult time....Gus will be missed by our community, and by me... such a guy...always positive and a smile for everyone he touched. I wish I could be there for the service to honor his life, but I am in San Diego with my daughter and family. A quote comes to mind from JULIUS CAESAR.."THERE WAS A MAN!" I know his family will carry on his legacy as a devoted citizen of our and hugs to all, Barbara Rowell

Steve & Judy Shaw
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
Dear Aunt Fern & Terry & Tammy,
I was so sorry to learn of Gus's death, you have my deepest condolences on his passing. I have fond childhood memories of the Traeder farm and Gus lighting off firecrackers and then letting us kids do it too. I will never forget Gus's jovial, smart ass nature, always picking on people to get a laugh and always in a good mood. I will always remember him as smart, funny and full of energy, always on the go. He wouldn't be happy any other way. He will be missed. Love Steve & Judy Shaw

Donnie Barton
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
I am sorry to hear of Gus' death. He was a very good man.

richard Bolander
   Posted Thu June 16, 2016
It is with a heavy heart I send this...My heart felt prayers fo the family in this time of loss. Gus was a good friend and great promoter and ambassador to karting. I met gus through my years with the PKA and always had respect for what he did as a promoter. He will be truly missed by many, such as myself... God speed my friend till we meet again.

Tom & Janet Scobee
   Posted Fri June 17, 2016
Terry & family, Our deepest sympathy. Tom & Janet Scobee

Fred & Gail Tieken
   Posted Fri June 17, 2016
Gus touched so many people's lives in so many different ways. In doing so, he left us with wonderful memories and provided the setting for so many experiences that we would have not otherwise enjoyed. He was a great businessman and always a gentleman. He was truly one of a kind.

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