Cyril J. Lauer

 Cyril J.  Lauer
Cyril and Geneva (Severin) Lauer wedding day

Cyril J. Lauer, 59, of Seneca, KS, died Friday October 13, 1967 at the Seneca Hospital. He had been ill for many years with mouth and throat cancer that spread to his brain.

Cyril was born on February 7, 1908, son of Philip J. and Anna M. (Wempe) Lauer in Seneca. After becoming interested in the undertaking business that his dad had begun in 1901, he graduated from the Williams Institute of Embalming in Kansas City, MO in 1927.

He married Geneva Severin on September 12, 1929 at St. Michael's Church in Axtell. Cyril and Geneva lived in Seneca all their lives, building Lauer Funeral Home into one of the town's preeminent local institutions. The business was founded at its present location in 1927 by Cyril and his father Phil. Previously families had always held visitations and services in their own homes. Lauer Funeral Home was the first modern funeral home in Nemaha County, offering a central meeting place and dedicated facilities for families and friends in their time of grief.

Cyril and Geneva took great pride in the many remodeling projects at the Victorian-style funeral home to improve the business facilities as well as the living comforts for themselves. The house had originally been the home of C.C.K. Scoville, a banker responsible for much of Seneca's growth in the late 1800s. When Cyril and Geneva acquired the house it had been sitting largely vacant for many years and required a lot of work to transform it into a business and home.

Cyril was known by all as an accommodating, gracious man. He was a member of the Sts. Peter & Paul Church, 4th degree member of Knights of Columbus, and a charter member of the Seneca Rotary Club. He served on the Seneca City Council and was a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts. He loved gardening and handicrafts, especially involving remodeling of the house.

In recent years as his health failed, Cyril's son David returned to Seneca to take over operation of the funeral home. Sale of the funeral home to his son David and wife Sally, the third generation of Lauers to operate Lauer Funeral Home, was completed in March of 1966.

Survivors are his wife Geneva of the home; his children, Jeanann Colle of Rapid City, SD, David Lauer of Seneca, Donald Lauer of Boulder, CO, and James Lauer of Kansas City MO; his mother, Anna Lauer of Seneca; three brothers, Anthony Lauer of Phoenix, AZ, Damian Lauer of Aurora, CO, and Leonard Lauer of Leavenworth; two sisters, Margaret Lauer of Leavenworth and Jenny Guth of Topeka; and 13 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father Phil on January 10, 1933.

Mass of Christian burial was offered at 10 AM on Monday, October 16, at Sts. Peter & Paul Church. Burial was in the church cemetery. Rosaries were prayed Saturday and Sunday evenings at Lauer Funeral Home, and at the church before mass on Monday.

Paul bearers were E.S. Dekat, Emmett Mealy, William Strathman, Mat Rochel, William Murphy and Andrew Haverkamp.