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Gary R. Lauer

Gary R. Lauer

Gary R Lauer, 82, of Eau Galle, passed away peacefully on Saturday January 7, 2023 at Mayo- Red Cedar Hospital in Menomonie. 

Gary was born December 17, 1940 in Plum City.  He was the son of Glenn and Agnes (Lecheler) Lauer and was raised on the family farm near Exile. He lived the majority of his life in Eau Galle after marrying his best friend, Elizabeth “Betty” Helmueller in 1971. Together they raised five children. Gary was baptized and confirmed at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Eau Galle and was active there as an usher, member of the polka choir, and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed trips with St. Henry’s Watermark Mission, helping rebuild communities in many states. Gary gave generously to his community, serving the American Legion as Commander of the Gasteyer Post for over 30 years, and as a member and treasurer of the Eau Galle Sportsman’s Club. Gary was known for his gift to fix or repair just about anything. He was a great hunter and fisherman and looked forward every fall to going “out West” to Kaycee, Wyoming with some of his best friends hunting mule deer, antelope, and elk. The core group hunted together for many years, sharing not only the game they hunted, but many stories, music, good food, and drink. He bow and gun hunted whitetail deer with great success. Gary was most proud of his family and cherished time spent with them. He always enjoyed fishing trips with Michael and Randy, catching many fish and enjoying the fish frys after. Gary bowled for many years in both men’s and couples leagues at Club 10. He enjoyed playing cards, especially pfeiffer, euchre, pinochle, and cribbage. Card club nights with friends were some of his favorite times. 

After graduating high school, Gary worked at Tidy Wood Products in Elmwood, making wooden bowls, before moving on to road construction with Sweeney Brothers Construction. When the bony finger of Uncle Sam started pointing in his direction, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO he trained in radar defense at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX and also at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. With his education and training complete, he was sent to Germany to monitor Soviet MiGs during the Vietnam War. Once back in the States, Gary worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over 35 years. He started out in radar defense maintenance, based out of Minneapolis, MN, servicing radar systems from Washington State to Maine along the Canadian border. He completed his working life at Lock and Dam 4 in Alma, WI as the electrician/maintenance operator. 

He will always be remembered for his witty sense of humor and one liners. When asked, “How do you feel Gary?” by a nurse, doctor, or therapist, he would always respond, “With my fingers!” He will be remembered by his family as being generous with love and frugal with his money, teaching humility by example. Never one to brag, he preferred to be generous without recognition. 

The family thanks Rachel and Doug, Lori, Amy, Kristy, Chris, Maria, and the other caregivers at Potter’s Country Home for their devoted care and compassion for Dad while he resided there. They and the residents got to enjoy Gary’s happy personality and share in our loss. 

Gary is survived by his daughters; JoAnn (Mike) Vruwink of Eau Claire, Jaclynn (Tim) Taylor of Elk Mound, and Nicole (Denver) Applehans of Fairfax, VA; his sons, Randy (Linda) of Marshfield and Michael (Theresa) of Menomonie; twelve grandchildren, five great grandchildren; sisters, Eileen (Duword) Kurrelmeyer of Ellsworth and Marjory (Mike) Bauer of Wichita, KS; brother Ervin (Donna) Lauer of Arkansaw; sister-in-law, Betty Lauer of Durand; brother-in-law, Ray King of Green Bay. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Betty, brothers Arland and Charles in infancy,  a sister, Zeona King, and grandson Luke Vruwink. 

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday January 28, 2023 at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Eau Galle.  Burial will be in the church cemetery at a later date. 

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Friday January 27, 2023 at Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.



  1. Steven and Bebe Pittman

    Our condolences to Erv and the entire Lauer family. I remember Gary on the school bus and at church, He was always so friendly. He will be a worthy angel in heaven. God Bless. Steven and Bebe Pittman

  2. Kim and Lynette Wagenbach

    Keeping all of you in our prayers. May Gary rest in peace.

  3. Melanie Miller

    My condolences to the whole Lauer family.

  4. Paula

    to the family of Gary Lauer "i am truly sorry for the loss of your dad i know him and betty were always asking us girls how we were doing and we liked to walk home from church and they would walk home with us part way just talking and sharing things with us ill miss them both ill keep you all in my prayers please hug one another for me and thanks for sharing your mom and dad with the smith family they were always important in our family

  5. Steven schultz

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. He will be missed.

  6. Barbara A Freiberg

    Jackie - i'm so sorry about your dad passing away. So difficult to see them go. May God be with you and your family. Hugs! Barb

  7. Amanda Glaus

    So sorry to hear of Gary's passing. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Ralph and Patricia Ginsbach

    Condolences to family from former Elmwood High School classmates.
    Ralph and Pat Ginsbach

  9. Kathy & Bob Geraets

    Condolences to all the families. A great person


    My deepest condolences to the children...Gary was one of the 'good ones'......I'm sure he will be missed.

  11. Ronald Huppert

    Sorry for your loss, Gary was a good guy, he will be missed

  12. John and Judy Parr

    Sorry for your loss

  13. Betty Ann Auth Goodrich

    My condolences to the Lauer family. Gary was always so friendly - heaven gained a worthy angel — may he rest in gods loving arms❤️

  14. Diane Schmidt

    So very sorry for your loss.

  15. Bill and Debbie Harmon

    So very sorry for your loss

  16. Kristi Schug

    Sending our thoughts and prayers Randy and family

  17. Joe and Jan Drier

    Thinking of you all and sending our Deepest Sympathy!

  18. Joe and Jan Drier

    Thinking of you all and sending our Deepest Sympathy!

  19. Donna Karshbaum

    So Sorry for Your Loss, God Bless You All ????????

  20. Jill Bundy Anderson

    So very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you all. ????

  21. Bobbi Sedlmayr

    Sending my condolences to your family. I worked with Betty at Caddy and got to meet your Dad and heard a few stories from Betty. My deepest sympathy
    Bobbi Sedlmayr

  22. Jacob and Mary (Lecheler) Ginsbach

    So sorry to hear of the passing of my first cousin, Gary. I always enjoyed seeing and talking to him when we attended church in Eau Galle. He was a great man and will be missed.

  23. Jane Flesher

    Sending my condolences to the entire family.

  24. Joanne’McRoberts’ Hovey

    Sympathy to family and friends. Gary was a very nice and caring man. Very sorry for your loss ????

  25. Lori HOFACKER

    Sorry for your loss

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