Obit: Leo Rauterkus, Retired PPS Teacher recently of Zelienople
Leo Michael Rauterkus, 89, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2020, at Passavant Retirement Community in Zelienople, PA, after a brief illness and surgery two-weeks prior. Leo and his wife, Audrey McElligott Rauterkus, recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.
Born October 16, 1931, to Margaret Foley Rauterkus and Joseph A. Rauterkus, Ph.D., Leo spent his childhood years living in Pittsburgh's Mt. Washington before the family moved to Wilkinsburg, WHS Class of '49.
Leo, a Korean War Veteran, US Army, honorable discharged, Sergeant, 1954, went to work in the building trades as a lather. He attended St. Vincent College for a year, 1954-55.
In 1956, Leo married the love of his life, Audrey McElligott, also of Wilkinsburg. They moved to Penn Hills, raised five children in parish life and the Penn Aqua Club, as well as many other school activities. Leo loved to play bridge, swim, play tennis and was gregarious and friendly with everyone.
Leo is survived by his wife, Audrey and their five children: Mark Rauterkus (Catherine Palmer) of Pittsburgh, Mary Lee Majewski (Phil) of Marshall Township, Margie Guyer (Bill) of West Chester, Geri Ann McLaughlin (John) of Philadelphia, and Michele Brickner (Kevin) of Dallas, Texas.
Leo earned his Bachelor's of Education from Duquesne Univ. in '62 and his Master's of Education, via night-school, in 1970.
"Mr. R" devoted more than 30-years with the elementary schoolers in the Pittsburgh Public School District. He loved every minute he spent in school duties. His later assignments were at the Teachers' Center of Excellence and the Gifted Center at Woolslayer.
Leo and Audrey moved to Danbury Farms, in Freedom, PA, in 1999 to be closer to two of their daughters. They made many new friends and continued to play major roles in the lives of all of their grandchildren.
In 2015 Audrey and Leo moved to Passavant Retirement Community and were blessed to receive wonderful support and care from the tremendous staff.
Leo was a devout Catholic, and he attended mass as often as he could. Over the course of his life, Leo was a parishioner at Mary of the Mount, St. James', St Bart's, St. Ferdinand's and St. Gregory's.
Leo was "Pop Pop" to his 15 grandchildren: Audrey Guyer Rains (Jeshua), Adam Majewski, Joanie Guyer (engaged to Michael Ferrer), Martin Majewski, Erik Rauterkus, Charlie Brickner, Cassie Majewski, Grant Rauterkus, Laurel Ann McLaughlin, Kate Brickner, Tess Majewski, Helen McLauglin, Kelli Brickner, Joe Brickner and Megan Brickner.
Leo was preceded in death by his three siblings: David Rauterkus (Audrey), of Florida; Joseph Rauterkus, Jr. (Claire) of Pittsburgh and Margaretmary Zoffel (Chip) of North Hills. Also passed, brother-in-law Jerry McElligott (Vicki) of Somerset, PA.
Leo was a loving uncle to many nieces and nephews. Leo is also survived by sister-in-law Pat Kaiser (Roy) of Buffton, SC.
- There will be a viewing on Thursday, November 12, from 3 pm to 6 at Devlin Funeral Home in Cranberry Township.
- There will be a Funeral Mass at Saint Ferdinand's Church in Cranberry held at 11 am on Friday, November 13, 2020. The funeral mass will be available via ZOOM. Link below in box.
- In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Passavant Retirement Community's Benevolent Care Fund.
- With the spiking pandemic, the family encourages safety and is planning a large celebration of life in the future.
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- Meeting ID: 928 8994 9619
- Passcode: 187949
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At this time, please consider writing a note to Audrey.
She and the family would appreciate the notes, The isolation and lockdowns due to the pandemic and public health restrictions have been difficult, as all are aware. Audrey's address is:
105 Burgess Drive
Zelienople, PA 16063
Leo's first contract as an elementary school teacher with the Pittsburgh Public Schools was in 1962 for fewer than $6,000 per year.
Leo's Primary teaching assignments:
- Crescent School, '62-'64;
- Swisshelm Park, '64-'75;
- Lee School, '75-'80;
- Brookline, including the Teacher Center, '80-'89;
- Woolslayer Elem Gifted Center, '89-'93.
Leo's alternative teaching duties included more than two decades of summer school where he taught reading and math. He also coached, and led intramurals, world cultures curriculum, a MS task force, teachers advisory committee, and more.
Leo was creative, dynamic, resourceful, inquisitive, empathetic, positive, honest, cooperative and unafraid to take risks. He had the strongest people skills and was always able to
- motivate others,
- problem solve,
- make even the dullest things interesting,
- connect with students on a personal level, and
- be fair.