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Merlin William Rau

Merlin William Rau

Benson Merlin William Rau, age 90, of Kensington, Minnesota died Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck, Minnesota. Funeral Services will be held 11:00a.m., Friday, March 14, 2014, at the Oscar Lake Lutheran Church in Farwell, Minnesota with Rev. Denise Croskey officiating. Interment will be held in the Swenoda Lutheran Cemetery in Swenoda Township, Swift County, Minnesota. Visitation will be held 5:00 7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 13, 2014 at the Oscar Lake Lutheran Church in Farwell, Minnesota. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson, MN.

Merlin William Rau was born November 26, 1923, in Richville, Otter Tail County, Minnesota, the son of Frederick Wilhelm and L.C. May (Whaley) Rau. He was confirmed April 10, 1938 by Rev. E.A. Hempeck at the St. Johns Lutheran Church in Hancock, Minnesota. He attended Pope County District 55 grade school and Hancock High School. On August 10, 1947, Merlin was united in marriage to Delores Inez Soltau in Pine Creek, Minnesota. This union was blessed with five children, twelve grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Merlin grew up as a farmer in Western Minnesota, built bombers in California during World War II, then joined the Army and went to Germany with the Army of Occupation. After the war, he married Delores and farmed in Swift County for two years, then rejoined the Army for the Korean War, and stayed in until he retired in 1968 to Lake Freeborn. While in the Army, he and his family lived in Missouri, Germany for 3 tours of duty, and in between the Germany tours, in Kansas, California, Maryland, and Virginia. Merlin was a member of Oscar Lake Lutheran Church, the VFW, the American Legion, the Korean War Veterans Association of the 7th Calvary Regiment, and the United States Constabulary. Among the things Merlin enjoyed were fishing, hunting, traveling, and attending army reunions. Merlin was called from this life on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck, Minnesota. He attained the age of 90 years, 3 months, and 15 days.

Merlin is survived by five children: Daniel (Linda) Rau of Duluth, MN, Juanita (Thomas) Jerve of Benson, MN, Tim (Julie) Rau of Whittier, CA, Belinda (Steven) Sanders of Benson, MN, and Julie (Joseph) Callahan of Kensington, MN; twelve grandchildren: Alissa Maanum, Mitchell Maanum, Brittany Dean, Jason Turner, Vanessa (David) Bustrum, Cheyenne Rau, Michelle Jerve, Tony Jerve, Aaron (Mary) Sanders, Justin (Rebecca) Sanders, Erik (Alicia) Rau, and Carrie (Shandiz) Hedayati; nine great-grandchildren: Patrick and Anna Sanders, Hallie Jerve, Dylan and Ella Sanders, Fiona Hedayati, Ronan Rau, Aoife Bublitz, and Jackson Bustrum; his brother, Donald (Alois) Rau of Kensington, MN; and a sister Ruth (Warren) Hickey of Minneapolis, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and L.C. May Rau; wife, Delores, on November 15, 1991; four sisters: Cleone (Nils) Brustuen, Naomi (Leo) Miller, Geraldine (Herman) Maanum, and infant Elsie Rau.

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