JAMES WALTER RAU
“I leave this world with many great experiences and no regrets. It’s been a wonderful life and I thank God for it. My family, my friends and all those I’ve come to know over the wonderful years, it’s my pleasure to have been part of your lives.”
Passed away February 25, 2012, Jim was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 20, 1927. Surviving is his wife of 33 years, Shirley, daughter, Mrs. David (Kathleen) Miner and step-children, Terri, Mary, Paul (Shari) and John Romel. A grandson, Matthew, son of Gary Rau also survives, two step-grandchildren; Jason & Jordan Romel, and a step-great-granddaughter; Baby Kaymdan Romel. He was preceded by a son, Gary Rau in 2008.
James served his country overseas in the Army Air Forces in World War II and was the recipient of the following medals; Asiatic Pacific Service, American Theatre, Good Conduct, World War II Victory, American Defense and Unit Citation Commendation. After his military service he attended Bucknell University and subsequently was, for two years employed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. He moved to Alpena in 1961 as a regional sales manager for National Cash Register Company, retiring from NCR in 1974 and then became a successful licensed investment and securities counselor. His lifetime in Alpena was one of continuous community service, having served on numerous city commissions and was a City Councilman for 1980 to 1984. He was a Chamber of Commerce Director, Besser Museum Board member for many years and in 1995 was awarded the City of Alpena Distinguished Citizen Award for his efforts in organizing the World War II exhibit at the Besser Museum. He was a fifty year member and past president of the Alpena Lions Club, District Governor for Michigan Lions and a recipient of the distinguished Melvin Jones Fellow award for outstanding service to Lions objectives. Rau was a commissioner on the Alpena Township Planning Board. He also served on the Boards of the Alpena Senior Citizens Center and was a member of the St. Mary’s Church Finance Council.
James Rau was also a charter member of the Alpena Air Force Association Chapter and served several years as the Michigan State President. As an avid sailor and member of the Alpena Yacht Club, many will undoubtedly remember his weekly sailing column, Windjammer Log in the Alpena News. His other interests included hunting at the Little Wolf Club and motorcycle touring throughout the country. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2496, Elks Lodge #505, Moose Lodge #571, Alpena Eagles, Fraternal Order of Police and the Gold Wing Road Riders Motorcycle Club.
Per his wishes, cremation has taken place and his inurnment will be at the family plot in Holy Cross Cemetery. Family and friends will gather on Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 10:00 am until the time of the memorial mass at 11:00 am at St. Mary Catholic Church. Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church Building Fund, Hospice of Michigan or the Huron Humane Society. McWilliams Funeral Home – Alpena assisted the family. Please visit Jim’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory or sign the on-line guest book.