Ernest (“Ernie”) Rau , age 71, passed peacefully on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Ernie was born in Niskayuna, NY and lived on Settles Hill until his death.
He is the son of the late Everett and Margaret Rau.
As a young adult he was active in the 4-H Raise and Release pheasant programs and raised beef cows and showed them at the Altamont Fair for years. As a 4-H member he also raised chickens and grew vegetables to sell at local markets
Ernie had farming in his blood and loved working with animals and being in nature.
Ernie graduated from Guilderland High School in 1967 where he was a member of the Westmere Ski Club and the Guilderland High Tennis Club. He went on to attend SUNY Cobleskill and received an AAS degree in Animal Husbandry and AG Engineering. He worked his way through college cutting meat as a butcher at Greulichs Market .
After graduating from college he became a part time New York State Park Police stationed at Thacher Park. He worked for Bebout Ford, Inc. in Latham, NY selling heavy construction equipment, also as a mason for Van Patten Builders in Clifton Park. He then started his own mason business with partner Dan Stewart.
He went on to be the sole proprietor of Fai-Ho Construction Co., building residential houses in the Settles Hill area. Ernie had many wonderful years working with his son Derik along side him teaching him the business. Derik has now taken over the construction/farm and rental business.
Ernie was always working at something and instilled good work ethics in all of his children whom he was so very proud of. He was a wonderful and caring husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and always ready to lend a hand when needed.
He had nicknames for just about everyone, some quite humorous, he loved yellow labs and raised them for years on the farm. He loved having a big garden every year and producing grass fed beef.
He married his wife, Joyce in 1977 and raised her 3 children like his own. They together had 2 additional children and had so many wonderful times together on the farm.
Since 2010, Ernie and Joyce loved spending 3 months every winter at their beach house on Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where they had many wonderful friends. He loved boating there and also spent many years boating on Lake George where he built a beautiful camp.
He was a member of the Rotterdam Elks#2157 for 12 years.
Ernie is survived by his wife, Joyce, son David M. Heron and wife Cindy of Smithfield, VA, daughter Kelly J Spiak and husband Michael of Greenfield Center, NY, daughter Erika Rau Lawson and husband Kenneth of Altamont, NY and son Derik E. Rau and wife Jessica of Altamont, NY. He is predeceased by his daughter Laura.
Also survived are his grandchildren Sean, Shayna, Kyra, Jessica, Samantha, Amelia, Elizabeth, Nora, Tommy, Joey, Danny and great grandson Connor.
Also survived by his brothers Kenneth Rau, (Patricia) James Rau (Patricia) and sister MaryJane Pelzer and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Ernie’s life will be scheduled at a future date.
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