Marcia Rau 1936 - 2019

Marcia M. Rau was born August 7, 1936, in Eugene, Oregon, the daughter of Odyne and Kathryn (Seelye) Mathews.  Marcia passed away on December 17, 2019, in Newberg, Oregon, from natural causes related to Alzheimer’s disease.  

Marcia graduated from Willamette High School in 1954.  She briefly attended Chico State College but ended up back in her hometown at the University of Oregon, where she completed her elementary education degree in 1958.  Marcia started her career in Tokyo, Japan, teaching third grade on a U.S. military base.  It was in Japan where she met and later married William Rau of Brainerd, Minnesota. They wed in July of 1961.  They initially made their home in Minnesota before moving to Oregon in 1967.  Bill and Marcia moved to a small farm in Cove Orchard where they began raising a family and a herd of Appaloosas. They divorced in 1983.

Marcia became the primary parent to her two treasured children, Murray and Katrinka, shuttling them to practices, meets, games, sleepovers and weekend tournaments.  Between hauling hay in the summers, filling the cellar with canned food for the winter or chopping wood in the fall for the woodstove, she always offered a welcoming home and a listening ear.

Marcia’s parents raised their four children with a strong work ethic, pride in being a good neighbor and, most importantly, the value of a kind-hearted practical joke. That philosophy stayed with Marcia throughout her life and career.  She spent 46 years as an educator, 35 of those with the McMinnville School District.  Marcia played a pivotal role in many young lives with her engaging style of teaching. She also served as president of the McMinnville Teachers' Association.

In her spare time, Marcia traveled around the world, visiting over 20 countries with countless stories of new adventures and was quick to encourage those around her to go out and explore. She grew roses in her backyard, and many lucky friends received beautiful bouquets all summer long.  Marcia volunteered for Kids on the Block, taught piano lessons and loved singing in the annual Christmas Cantata. She played many instruments, including the autoharp, organ and ukulele, but her true love was her piano that’s been in the family for over 100 years.  Her fingers danced across the ivory keys for an hour every day. Marcia also took flight lessons, read countless books, enjoyed sewing, gardening, writing and riding horses.  She and her beloved horse, Swanky Vera, rode over 100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Marcia had three English Setters, all of whom brought her great pleasure and joy.

Marcia is survived by her two children and their spouses, son, Murray and wife Sue Rau of Yamhill, Oregon, and daughter, Katrinka and husband Jon Allred of Vancouver, Washington. She is also survived by her brother, Ralph and wife Ida Mathews of Edmonds, Washington; and sister-in-law, Sylvia Mathews of Vancouver. She was preceded in death by her brothers, David and Richard Mathews. 

As a teacher, Marcia changed, shaped and positively affected the lives of many people in the Yamhill County area.  A Celebration of Life is being held to honor Marcia on February 29, 2020.  For information and to share your stories to the family with memories of your own, please visit  A private burial will be held at the Laurel Hill Pioneer Cemetery in Eugene.  In honor of Marcia, donations may be made to:



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