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July 12, 1936 – Dec. 19, 2013

Robert Rausche, a Buffalo native, great-grandfather, choir singer, electrician and storyteller, died in Lake Suzy, Fla., Thursday. He was 77.

“Our house was always filled with laughter,” said Sandra Wierpert, his daughter. “He always had a story to tell, always had a joke, always had a smile.”

Mr. Rausche was the son of German immigrants, a former Marine and past commander of AMVETS Post 7 of Akron. He spent most of his life in Lancaster before moving to Florida a couple of years ago.

A former member of the Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Corps, he was also a lieutenant and director of Townline Fire Hall in Lancaster.

In addition to working as an electrician, he was a retired salesman for Buffalo Wire Works. His hobbies included singing in the Lancaster Presbyterian Choir and playing guitar.

He raised his family with his late first wife, Diane, to whom he was married for 36 years. When their children were growing up, they used to take everyone out for Friday night fish fries at Wilkinson’s Lounge, where he would sing and play guitar with his band. In the summers they went to Allegany State Park, where Mr. Rausche loved to take out his guitar and sing “On Top of Old Smoky.”

He is survived by his second wife, Patricia Bahl-Rausche; two daughters, Carol Habarth and Sandra Wierpert; a son Norman; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A local memorial service will be held at St. Adalbert’s Cemetery. A date has not been set.