Sandra “Jolene” Rau

Jolene Rau, age 77, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, July 8, 2018. Jolene was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 25, 1941. She grew up in Detroit and attended the Shapero School of Nursing where she became an LPN before she turned 20. She worked in the nursing field for over 50 years, retiring from the offices of Dr. David Olson and Dr. Karen Koby-Olson at the age of 70.

Jolene met the love of her life, Paul “Douglas” Rau and was married on October 10, 1964. They were blessed and cursed with 4 boys in the span of 6 years. In 1975, Doug and Jolene decided to pack up their boys and move north where they resided and contributed to the community of Gaylord.

To Jolene, it probably seemed like she was mom to more than just her 4 boys as the Rau House was often the main staging point before sports, get togethers and other activities. She was also an avid birder and took great pride in keeping the birds that frequented her feeders well fed. She loved birds so much, that for the past few years she annually migrated with them to Florida with our Aunt Carol.

Jolene was preceded in death by her husband Doug, her sister Joan Treves (Gaylord) and her brother Sam Treves (Lincoln, NE). She is survived by her four boys, Chris (Marcia) of Gaylord, Greg of Grand Rapids, Bryan (Tina) of Gig Harbor, WA and Jeff of Melbourne, FL. She has four granddaughters: Danielle, Kali, Brooke and Lilly; five grandsons: Cole, Haven, Dawson, Simon and Gavin; and two great-grandchildren: Solomon and Marleah.

Visitation will be 11:00 AM on Friday, July 13 with the Funeral Service following at 5:00 PM at Nelson Funeral Home 135 N Center Street Gaylord, MI 49735.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Audubon Society or the charity of your choice through Nelson’s Funeral Home.


  1. liz Griffore July 10, 2018 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I am sure going to miss you dear friend. We had a special bond and I will treasure our friendship forever. May you rest in peace, until we meet again. Love always, Liz

  2. Lin Ploeg July 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    My deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time, Greg. So sorry for your loss.

  3. paul rau July 11, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Chris, Greg, Brian, Jeff and to your entire families, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother (grandmother). May you all find peace in knowing that she is going to be with your dad for eternity and will be watching over you and your families. May you find peace and love with each other and know that things will get easier as time goes on.

  4. Tammy and Colin Busch July 11, 2018 at 10:39 am - Reply

    So thankful to have had her as a “second Mom” in our lives. She was really good at turning a blind eye to the goings on in her household but yet caring enough to put an end to it if things became to extreme! Through thick and thin you could always rely on Mom Rau to bring a smile to your face! We lost one of the good ones, Love always!

  5. Robert Good July 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    The world has lost a bright light, wonderful woman and spectacular mom. She took care of so many like they were her own. We have been blessed to have had her as such a influence in our lives. We will miss you greatly Mom Rau. Heaven has truly gained an angel. Much love from us all.

  6. Karen (Rau) and Anthony Szostak July 12, 2018 at 11:20 am - Reply

    We were deeply saddened to hear of your loss. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our prayers are with you all.

  7. Karen (Rau) and Anthony Szostak July 12, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    We were saddened to hear of your loss. She’ll be deeply missed. Our prayers are with you all.

  8. Kathy VanKirk & Family July 12, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    My deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time, I continue to pray for peace and comfort
    for the entire Rau family and friends.

  9. Ruth Yerman July 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    To the “Rau” boys and all of your families, I hope you feel surrounded by much love. I am sharing in your sadness as we remember Aunt Jolene and sending healing prayers and comforting hugs. I am so sorry for your loss. Aunt Jolene had such an infectious smile and I will miss her. Wishing you all comfort during this sad time. Ruth (Rau) and Don Yerman.

  10. John and Janet Borowiak July 12, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    So very sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom, prayers for you and your families!

  11. Diana McSweeney July 15, 2018 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    To the Rau boys and their families: We are so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. We wanted you to know you are all in our prayers. Cliff and Diana (Johnston) McSweeney .

  12. Cliff Diana Johnston McSweeney July 17, 2018 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    To all the Rau boys and their families:

    We were so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. You are in our prayers.

  13. Sally Brown-Avery July 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  14. Karen Blakely July 31, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your mother and grandmother.

  15. Kathleen Dobrzelewski Chau September 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    My sympathy and prayers on your loss. Your Mom was a great neighbor – with a quick smile and comment!

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