Donald J. Rauenhorst, 76
Easton — Donald Joseph Rauenhorst, age 76, of Wells-Easton, died Friday, July 22, 2011, at his home surrounded by family.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held July 25, 2011, at St. Casimir Catholic Church, in Wells. The Rev. Tom Niehaus officiated, and burial was in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Barber Township, Faribault County.
Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Donald Joseph Rauenhorst was born April 27, 1935, in Easton, the son of Alfred and Helen (Hefner) Rauenhorst. He was a graduate of Wells-Easton High School, the class of 1953. He was united in marriage to Darlene Bleess on June 9, 1956, in Blue Earth, and to this union six children were born. Darlene and their infant son, John Paul, died in childbirth on Feb. 7, 1981.
Don farmed his entire life and retired in 2008. He raised dairy cattle, hogs, horses and crops. He was named the Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer in 1970. On Dec. 14, 1982, Don was united in marriage to Marilyn (Mericle) Pieper, in Easton, along with her two children, Bill and Kristin. To this union a daughter Stacy was born. Don was known for his life-long love of horses, for charity work, participating in parades, and giving wagon rides. Since 1997, Don provided his horses and was the official driver for Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home’s Horse Drawn Hearse, of which he helped complete. Don drove school bus for 20 years for USC school district. Don enjoyed family gatherings, camping, biking and keeping his lawns manicured and immaculate. He especially enjoyed and loved his children, grandchildren and talking and spending time with his siblings. Don made friends with people of all ages.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of Wells; eight children, Bill (Dianne) Rauenhorst, of Easton, Steven (Lynn) Rauenhorst, of Slidell, La., Mark (Jan) Rauenhorst, of Delavan, Connie (Brad) Curtiss, of Memphis,?Tenn., Lori (Tim) Stenzel, of Pemberton, Stacy (Philip) Gardner, of Rigby, Idaho, Bill (Deb) Pieper, of Horace, N.D., and Kristin (Greg) Fischer, of St. Paul; 17 special grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren; one brother, Milton (Kathryn) Rauenhorst, of Lakeville; one sister, Betty (Larry) Thisius, of Wells; one brother-in-law, Tom Lubitz, of Mankato; two mothers-in-law, Helen Bleess, of Blue Earth, and Joyce Mericle, of Wells; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Darlene; infant son, John Paul; three sisters, Melaine (Jim) Theede, Margaret Lubitz, and Mary Jane (Harvey) Vogel; two fathers-in-law, Norbert Bleess and Cliff Mericle.
Memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society, St. Casimir Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, or United Hands Hospice of Blue Earth.