Leon W. Rau, 88, passed away February 25, 2012 at home surrounded by family.
He was born August 22, 1923 to William and Esther (Bragg) Rau in West Branch, MI.
He attended and graduated from St. Joseph High School. He learned the welding trade and worked in Defoe Shipyard, Bay City until enlisting and serving in the U.S. Navy Pacific theatre during WWII. After his years in service, he returned to the family farm. He married the former Evelyn Schneider in July 1949. He and Evelyn started their family in Flint, MI where he worked at Flint GM Drop Forge. In 1961, he brought his family back to West Branch to own and operate Lemajru family dairy farm until retirement. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, K of C Ogemaw Council 2022, Life member of American Legion Post 104 of Standish, Life member of VFW Post 3775 of West Branch, Ogemaw Farm Bureau-President for 4 years, Michigan Milk Producers, and the Holstein Association.
Together they raised six daughters. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and their six daughters: Jennifer (Bill) Tunney, St. Louis, MI; Letitia (Jack) Simmet, Standish, MI; Julie (Charles) Nelkie, West Branch, MI; Mary (Jon) Butler, Council, ID; Rita (George) Foos, Grand Rapids, OH; Laura (Matthew) Holl, East Peoria, IL; 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Robert (Donna) Rau; Charlie (Betty) Rau; Marie (Junior) Clemens; Helen (John) Baker; and Alice (Harold) Chemeaux. Preceding him in death was a step-grandchild, Craig Simmet; his brother Keith Rau; sister, Bethel Byrne; and sister-in-law, Doris (Schneider) Rau.
In lieu of flowers, memorials made to St. Joseph Church Endowment fund, American Legion Post 104, VFW Post 3775, and Heartland Hospice.
Visitation will be held Wednesday February 29, 2012 from 2-9 PM at Steuernol Funeral Home in West Branch. Scripture service and rosary will take place Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM. Funeral Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, West Branch will take place Thursday March 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM with visitation at the church starting at 10:00 AM.