Rich Rau

Richard Lee Rau was born in Sacramento, California on August 29, 1950, and spent his youth there with his family, father Philip Victor Rau, mother Lillian Earl Rau, favorite sister Sharen, brother Phil, and surrounded by many treasured cousins. After high school, Rich spent some years in Guam where he attended university.

He died at OHSU hospital on March 19, 2020.

Rich worked hard all his life for everything he had, from shining shoes at his uncle’s barber shop, to working in another uncle’s hardware store where his interest in learning how things were put together was piqued, and finally to opening his own plumbing and motorcycle shops in Newport, Oregon. He was always learning.

He opened his motorcycle shop in 1981. With Laurie, he opened Rau Plumbing in 1996. His brother, Phil, later joined him in the plumbing business.

Rich married Laurie Jackson in 1982, and they welcomed their beloved daughter, Karalee, in 1983.

One of his greatest joys in life was discovering the “Motorcycle Cannonball” and riding this great adventure three times, different routes, across our beautiful country. His riding and traveling companions were some of his very best friends, Clint Funderburg, Joe Cannon, Robb Priske, and Ryan Allen. In 2016 and 2018, Rich, Clint, and Ryan all rode motorcycles of the same year: 1916 Indians, model Power Plus. Rich has had many motorcycles over the years but his 1916 Indian became his favorite.

Want to honor him? Teach someone something! He was always teaching people… whether it was a plumbing connection, motorcycle repair, or in his own subtle way, about life.

He is survived by his wife Laurie, daughter Karalee Greenawald (Jim), grandchildren Jason, Levi, Alexia, and Sebastian, sister Sharen Rau Denham, and mother Lillian Earl Rau Schanche, niece Ashley Bridges, and nephew Jason Rau.

In the last few years of his life, recognizing our blessings, he often commented “how lucky are we?”.

He was generous, smart, and kind.

He lived life well!

He loved his family, his friends, motorcycles, and hard work. And did I say motorcycles?

Please join us to celebrate his life August 7, 2021 at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club, 750 SE Bay Blvd, Newport, Oregon, 1pm to 4pm. Motorcycles leaving at 4:30 for a memorial ride and campout ending at ArtFarm Barn, 278 S. Low Road, Seal Rock with dinner served.

All who knew him are welcome.

Questions? Phone Rau Plumbing at 541-265-9660.

Unable to attend? Messages to family can be sent to PO Box 2422, Newport, Oregon or email to We would be happy to post your messages at the celebration, if you would like.

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