David F. Lauer, 73, of Seneca, KS, died early Tuesday evening, December 6, 2005, at the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca. His death was due to complications from treatment for prostate cancer.
He was born November 21, 1932, in Seneca, the son of Cyril J. and Geneva C. Severin Lauer. He grew up in Seneca and graduated from Sts. Peter & Paul High School in 1950. While he was home, he worked in the family business, the Lauer Funeral Home. He also worked for the State of Kansas as a surveyor before he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. He served in Korea during the Korean Conflict with the 5th Comm Squadron, 315th Air Division, as a radio repairman and was discharged in February of 1955.
After attending Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS, he transferred to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he graduated in 1958 with a degree in mortuary science. In 1959 he served his apprenticeship back home in Seneca at Lauer Funeral Home. He lived and worked in Phoenix for a short time before returning to work at Welander-Quist Funeral Home in Minneapolis in the fall of 1960.
On May 26, 1962, he married Sally Pape at St. Olaf’s Church in Minneapolis. They lived in Bloomington, MN, where Dave continued to work for Welander-Quist until March of 1966, when they moved to Seneca to take over the family business. As third generation owners of the Lauer Funeral Home, Dave and Sally continued the service begun in 1901 by Dave's grandfather, Philip Lauer.
Dave was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Church, the St. Joseph Society, and served on the cemetery committee, all in Seneca. He was also a member of the Earl W. Taylor Post #21 of the American Legion, the Seneca Memorial Post #7458 of the VFW, the Knights of Columbus (4th Degree) Council 1769, the Kansas Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, the Seneca Chamber of Commerce, the Nemaha County Historical Society, the STEP Foundation, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, and the Hiawatha Amateur Radio Club. He served on the Board of the Seneca Hospital for 15 years and was a past president.
Dave was a passionate amateur radio operator for many years, going by the call letters KBØMU, and sporting various large antennae atop the funeral home for contacting all reaches of the globe. His other hobbies included photographing people (whether you wanted to be photographed or not), collecting all the latest electronic gizmos, listening to classical/jazz/blues, and keeping a large yard stocked with more and more trees and plants. He created a tradition of tulips blooming along 4th Street in front of the funeral home that continues every spring.
Survivors are his wife Sally of the home; a daughter, Andrea Lauer of Basel, Switzerland; three sons, Chris of Seoul, South Korea, Mike of Tokyo, Japan, and Tim, his wife Heidi, and a granddaughter expected in February of Taipei, Taiwan; a sister, Jean Nyquist of Travelers Rest, SC; two brothers, Don of Albuquerque, NM and Jim of Olathe, KS; a special aunt, Jean Koelzer, age 102, of Seneca; and nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 AM Saturday at Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Seneca. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Rosaries will be prayed at 2 & 7 PM Friday at Lauer Funeral Home, where he will lie in state after 4 PM Thursday.
Memorials may be given for Sts. Peter & Paul School, or the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital, or the Nemaha County Historical Society, and sent in care of the family.