Elaine Rau, 74, of Eureka, South Dakota, died Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Bowdle Nursing Home.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 am on Monday, October 31, 2016 at Zion American Lutheran Church, Eureka, with Pastor Lloyd Miller leading the service. Interment followed at the Church Cemetery. Organist was Ronda Lapp and the congregation sang “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,”“Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “Amazing Grace.” Vocalist Margie Walker sang “On Eagle’s Wings.” Ushers were Don Kaul and Mervin Gab. 

Elaine Janice Miklian, daughter of Marjorie (Ginsbach) and William Miklian, was born March 6, 1942 near Elmwood, Wisconsin. As a young girl, she was brought up on a dairy farm and attended Waverly Rural School. She completed her education at Spring Valley High School in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, Class of 1960. Following her schooling, she gained employment at an insurance company in St. Paul, Minnesota and later took a key puncher job at International Harvester in Minneapolis. It was at International Harvester where she and Mert met for the first time. They were united in marriage in Minneapolis on August 27, 1966.

Shortly after, Elaine left the work force and became a mother. They lived in Anoka and Coon Rapids, Minnesota before relocating in 1972 to their current farm three miles south of Eureka. Elaine spent the next three plus decades devoted to her family and working fulltime until retirement in 2008. She was a member of Zion American Lutheran Church where she loved to sing in the choir. A favorite pastime of Elaine’s was mailing birthday and anniversary cards to a large list of people. 

Elaine is survived by Merton, her husband of 50 years; four children, Melinda (Scottie) Hoff of Eureka, Morris (Amy) Rau of Maple Grove Minnesota, Tracy Rau of Atlanta, Georgia, and Tonya (Dan) Willard of Fort Collins Colorado; her brother Wayne (Linda) Miklian of River Falls, Wisconsin; her sister Mary (Paul) Wenum of Bloomington, Minnesota; and five grandchildren—Heather Hoff, Meaghan Hoff, Breanna Hoff, Taylor Rau and Abby Rau. 

She was preceded in death by her father on February 18, 2007, her mother on August 3, 2013 and an infant sister in January 1955. 

Casketbearers were Warren Rau of Appleton, Minnesota, Dan Willard of Ft. Collins, Colorado, Bonnell Aman of Aberdeen, South Dakota, Eric Rau of Cyrus, Minnesota, Rick Rau of Starbuck, Minnesota, and Paul Wenum of Bloomington. 

The Rau family prefers memorials to Zion American Lutheran Church, PO Box 546, Eureka, South Dakota 57437. They would also like to extend a special thank-you to the staff at the Bowdle Healthcare Center for their exceptional care.