Funeral services for Gary Rau, 74, of McLaughlin, were held at on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 at the Family Worship Center in Mobridge. Burial will be in the Methodist Cemetery in McLaughlin under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation was held Tuesday evening at the church. Gary passed away Sunday, July 30, 2017, at the Mobridge Care Center. Gary was born June 23, 1943 at Mobridge to Leo and Violet (Salzsiedler) Rau. He married Janet Kramer on May 16, 1964 and then resided on the farm northwest of McLaughlin until they moved to Mobridge in 2016. Gary Rau was a loving son, husband, father and grandfather. He lived a Christian life one day at a time and his favorite response “best day of my life” was the mantra he genuinely lived by. Even after his illness progressed when asked how he was doing more often than not his response was, “best day of my life” and he was truly thankful for that day and moment. He lived a life of service to his Savior and family. He was the leader of his family, and it was a responsibility he took very seriously. He provided for his family as a farmer and steward of the land. His love of farming and that way of life presented many challenges, but he embraced the fight and he never backed down. He was very proud of his results from a life of hard work. Gary valued the satisfaction that he got from a day of hard work. He worked hard, and the harder he worked the better he felt. He was a proud farmer, and he was proud of the work he did as a member of the Board of Directors for South Dakota Wheat Growers. His work on that Board resulted in many improvements to the ag community in the region that will benefit generations of future farmers. He was a family man, who recognized his family as a gift. His wife of 53 years was his sweetheart the day they were married, and she remained his sweetheart until the day he passed. Together their children have been the joys in their life. Gary embraced his responsibility as a family man. He was what a father was meant to be. He was strong, wise, caring and a Christian example for his children. He was always there when they needed him and he never let them down. He was Grandpa Gary to eight grandchildren. No grandchildren ever had a better grandfather. He felt blessed to be a grandfather and was involved in their lives in every way. He took the time to invest in each of them in their own unique way. He was Grandslam Grandpa at times and a valued friend and mentor at other times. He was a friend to many. He was slow to judge and had great empathy for those in need. He befriended those that needed a friend the most and his big heart was always open to those in need. Gary appreciated the many relationships that he had with the Lakota community. He took the time to learn and speak the Lakota language, and he was considered a friend. Gary enjoyed the simple things in life. A good nap, a bag of licorice, a good German supper, shaking dice with the boys at the coffee shop, and a night around the kitchen table with friends and family. There have been men as good as Gary, but none better. He will be missed but never forgotten. Gary is survived by his mother, Violet Rau; his wife of 53 years, Janet; three children, Shelley (Brad) Gauer of Watertown, Ken (Lana) Rau of Mobridge, Lee Ann (Michael) Buckmiller of Fargo, N.D.; eight grandchildren, Lane (Kelli) Rau, Tate Rau, Madison Rau, Eric Gauer, Alex Gauer, Xzavier Buckmiller, Quinn Buckmiller, and Ryker Buckmiller; one sister, Bonnie (Arnie) Schott of McLaughlin; three nephews and one niece. He is preceded in death by his father, Leo; and son, Clark.