Cover photo for Wilbur "Gene" Rauch's Obituary
Wilbur "Gene" Rauch Profile Photo

Wilbur "Gene" Rauch

February 2, 1933 — January 22, 2024

Wilbur "Gene" Rauch, a cherished husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather was a respected member of the Grayling community who passed away on January 22, 2024, at the age of 90. Born on February 2, 1933, in Lansing, Michigan, to Ula Bertha (Butler) and Wesson J. Rauch. Gene lived a life marked by integrity, dedication and love of family. 

Gene's early life was defined by his service to his country. He enlisted in the Army and served as an infantryman during the Korean War, a period that shaped much of his character and values. Following his service, he enjoyed a summer on Lake Margrethe, where he met his beloved wife, Shirley. Their loving partnership lasted 68 years, filled with shared joys and mutual support.

Professionally, Gene was a corrections officer at Camp Lehman and built the pavilion at Hartwick Pines State Park.  He was also a skilled builder, constructing over 30 houses in the Grayling area,  leaving a tangible legacy in the form of homes that many families cherish.  Even in retirement, Gene couldn't stay idle. He joined his best friend, Charlie Fick, at Fick and Sons, where he became known as the indispensable handyman.

Gene's hobbies included hunting, fishing, and traveling. These excursions weren't just trips; they were adventures that created lasting memories. He was an active and beloved member of the Michelson United Methodist Church and the Grayling Masonic Lodge and he was known for his 4th of July pancake breakfasts. 

He joins his wife Shirley in heaven and leaves behind his loving children, Daughter Lillian Mol, and Daughter Karyn Rauch-Smock, as well as a cherished Son-In-Law, Joe Smock, who he always saw as a son.  Grandchildren: Kristi Pitris (Vince), Matthew Mol, Nick Smock, Hannah Smock, and his great-grandson, Aiden Pitris. 

Above all, Gene was a family man and a role model. His life was a testament to the values of hard work, faith, and family. He leaves behind a legacy of love, resilience, and character. Gene will be deeply missed by all who knew him, but his spirit will live on in the many lives he touched.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, January 27 at Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home with visitation starting at 11:00am, funeral at 12:00pm and luncheon directly following. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Gene's memory may consider the Crawford County Community Christian Food Pantry, PO Box 1115, Grayling, MI 49738 or Crawford County Commission on Aging & Senior Center, 308 Lawndale St., Grayling, MI.

Condolences can be shared at www.sorensonlockwood.com.

Arrangements entrusted to Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.

 


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Visitation

Saturday, January 27, 2024

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

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Sorenson Lockwood Funeral Home, Inc.

1108 West North Down River Road
Grayling, MI 49738

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

Sorenson Lockwood Funeral Home, Inc.

1108 West North Down River Road
Grayling, MI 49738

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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