Cover photo for Charles Norman Rau's Obituary
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1939 Charles 2024

Charles Norman Rau

January 12, 1939 — January 29, 2024

Charles Norman Rau, age 85, passed away on Monday, January 29, 2024, at his home in West Branch, MI surrounded by his family. He was born on January 12, 1939, in West Branch, to William and Esther (Bragg) Rau. He lived in West Branch his entire life.


Charlie married Betty Schmitt on May 26, 1962, in West Branch and cherished their time together until her passing in December 2022. They enjoyed their winters in Florida and worked side by side. They were known to pick up cans and bottles while out riding on their golfcart or side by side in the neighborhood.


Charlie was a hard worker who dedicated his life to various professions. He drove trucks for Osceola Refinery, worked in construction for Clemens Construction, and owned Charlie's Overhead Door. Additionally, he was a hobby farmer and a member of the Knights of Columbus #2022 and St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch.

In his free time, Charlie enjoyed hunting, gardening, canning, cooking, playing cards, and spending quality time with his great grandchildren. He had a mischievous side and was known for his playful pranks.


Charlie is survived by his loving children, Denise (Steve) Simmons, Dennis (Linda) Rau, and Debra (George) Searfoss, all of West Branch; grandchildren, Greg (Lyndsay) Simmons, Scott Simmons, Jason (Courtney) Simmons, Lynn (Sean) Bonner, William (Jaime) Rau, Nathan (Annalise) Rau, Trista (Pat) Gibson, Samantha (Dustin) Thompson, Kenny LaBean, Justin (Katie) Diehl, Marissa (Jesse) Jordan, and Charlize Searfoss; 19 great grandchildren; sisters, Helen (John) Baker and Alice Chemeaux; in-laws, Ronald "Tobe" (Joyce) Schmitt, Gloria Schmitt, Jeanette Schmitt, and Bernard DeRosa; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.


He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, grandson Kevin Simmons, and his siblings Leon (Evelyn) Rau, Robert (Doris) (Donna) Rau, Bethel Byrne, Keith (Mavis) Rau, and Marie (Junior) Clemens. He was also preceded in death by his in-laws Richard "Dean" Schmitt, Aileen DeRosa, Robert (Alice) Bragg, Robert Schmitt, Jerry Schmitt, Albert (Mary) Miles, and Jackie Schmitt.


A visitation will be held at Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. The funeral mass will take place on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch with visitation starting at the church at 11:00 a.m. Father Nicholas Cooper will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.


Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Catholic School.


Arrangements were handled by Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch. www.steuernolmclaren.com.



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Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Homes - West Branch

109 East Houghton Avenue, West Branch, MI 48661

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Visitation

Thursday, February 1, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Burial

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery

, West Branch, MI 48661

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