Our beautiful mother, Betty Alice (Bauman) Rau, passed away at the age of 97 on January 15, 2021. Her large family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are saddened by their loss but are grateful for her love, inspiration and for their wonderful memories of this great lady.
She was born in Wisconsin on August 28, 1923. She had a happy childhood as the only child of Fred Bauman and Linda (Bauman) Davis and was well loved by her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Her family moved from Wisconsin when she was eleven years old and settled in the Wilton area. She attended Dillard Elementary School and completed her freshman year at Elk Grove High School before her family moved to Healdsburg, California. She graduated from Healdsburg High School where she was active in the Rainbow Girls and many high school activities. She had fond memories of being a majorette, an A student and having many friends. She attended all of her high school reunions and enjoyed get-togethers with her high school girlfriends several times over the years.
After high school she moved to Sacramento before becoming a Navy WAVE in 1944. Her work in the Navy was one of the highlights of our mom’s life. She became a Chief Yeomen in the discharge unit and often joked that she was very popular with the soldiers because she had the honor of handing them their discharge papers. She would be proud to know that she will be honored by the Navy with Taps and a presentation of the American flag at her private graveside service.
She then went to work at Mather Field and soon met the love of her life, Fred Rau. They married in July of 1948 and moved to Wilton shortly after the birth of their first daughter. Within three years they welcomed another daughter and a son to their family. They owned and operated the Dillard Store for thirteen years and were very involved in their children’s activities and the Wilton community. She was a bookkeeper at the Wilton Farm Supply and worked at the Wilton Post Office where she retired in 1989. Our parents were married for 52 years at the time of our dad’s death in 2000 and he always remained her greatest love.
She embraced social activities and belonged to Wilton’s Thursday Club, Garden Club, and the History Group. She was also part of monthly Bingo and Bunco Groups, and the Elk Grove Optimist Club. She was known for her famous cakes and proudly baked them for parties and celebrations, not only for family, but for the many clubs and groups she was part of. She loved that people counted on her cakes and happily made dozens of them over the years. However, she was best known for her “World’s Best Cookies” and her grandchildren and great grandchildren will never forget grandma Betty’s cookies.
Betty Rau was many things: a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, and a friend to many. The spirit of community lived deep within her and she loved living in Wilton, enjoying nature, animals and the peace of country living. She was fun and always ready for a party. She deeply loved her family and was always accepting of of all backgrounds. She and her dear friend walked almost five miles every morning until she was 90 years old. She was an amazing role model for our family and for so many others.
Our mom lived at The commons at Elk Grove for the last two and a half years of her life. She experienced excellent care by the most loving staff that became like extended family for all of us. Her sweet personality and charming ways will be missed at The Commons.
Betty Rau left quite a legacy of love in her Children: Jan Reed (Roy), Pat Minotti (John), Mike Rau (Janet); her Grandchildren: Matt Hughes (Brandy Cooley), Jill Hughes (Cyn Hunt), Brandon Thompson (Bridget), Ryan Thompson (Nohemi), Jordan Thompson (Cynthia Carrera), Laney Fleming (Sean), Johnny Minotti (Nikki), Michelle Minotti (Conrad Rorie), Devan Kovacs (AJ), Madeline Rau; and her Great-grandchildren: Victoria, Sophia, Levi, Shaye, Cayden, Chase, Charleigh, Nolan, Robby, Johnny and Ava. Her twelfth great-grandchild, Gabriel, will join her family legacy in March.
Our mom always said that she had “A Great life with no regrets”. She felt productive in her life, well loved and was ready to join our dad. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
A private graveside service will be held with plans for a “Celebration of Betty Rau’s Wonderful Life” in the near future.
To honor her memory and her love of animals donations can be made on her behalf to the Sacramento SPCA.