Earl P. Rau | Obituary - Republic-Times | News

Earl P. Rau | Obituary

By on October 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

Earl P. Rau

Earl P. Rau, 96, of Our Lady of the Snows Dammert Geriatric Center in Belleville, formerly of Waterloo, died Oct. 12, 2012, at Memorial Hospital in Belleville.

He was born Aug. 26, 1916, in St. Louis, to the late Frank J. and Ella K. (nee Frierdich) Rau.

Earl was the former owner and operator of Rau’s IGA grocery store in Waterloo.  He and his wife, Coralynn, were in the retail food market business their whole lives.  They had a great partnership, with friendship, love and respect for each other.  Coralynn ran the business alone while Earl was serving his country during World War II.  She was the shining light in his life.  After her death at the age of 52, he stayed in the retail food business for several years, but his heart wasn’t in it anymore.  He retired at the age of 58.

Rau was a veteran of World War II, who had served in North Africa and India.  His last years were spent in the U.S. Air Force G2 Division of Intelligence and Interrogation, living two years in the jungle in India and Burma, sometimes in mud huts with straw roofs.

Earl was a former member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Waterloo, where he was an active member of church organizations.  He was a member of Knights of Columbus Waterloo Council 1334, the Waterloo Elks Club, VFW Post 6504, and American Legion Post 581.  He was also a member of the CBI Theatre of War Veterans.

He was active in the community and supported many youth activities and organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Lions Club, and the Optimist Club.  He sponsored baseball teams, softball teams, and bowling teams.

Earl had many hobbies, including fishing, woodworking, playing cards (loved to play bridge), drawing, painting, writing, miniature railroading, photography, home movies and horses.  He loved to do yard work and masonry work (sidewalks, walls, etc.) in his yard.

Survivors include his three sons, James David (Margaret Travolta) Rau, Gary M. (Janis Niebruegge) Rau, Thomas G. (Sandra Lacy) Rau, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a niece, Diane Wedel.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his first wife, Coralynn M. (nee Landgraf) Rau, whom he had married in 1939; his second wife, Mildred (nee Hettenhausen) Rau; an infant daughter, Barbara Ann; and a sister, Myrtle Schroeder.

Visitation was Sunday, Oct. 14 at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville.

A funeral Mass was held Monday, Oct. 15 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Waterloo, with Fr. Osang Idagbo, C.M., officiating.

Interment with full military honors followed at Ss. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Waterloo.

Memorials may be made to Ss. Peter and Paul Grade School or Gibault High School.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.


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Tammy Taylor

Tammy is an award-winning Graphic Artist for the Republic-Times. She has worked at the newspaper for almost 15 years, while her and her husband Norman, of 34 years, are owners of Sunderman's Garage in Columbia. She enjoys photography and her five grandchildren.