Bert Westervelt Rau

July 9, 1923July 11, 2021

Bert Westervelt Rau, 98, passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021, surrounded by family.

Bert was born in Mt Holly, New Jersey on July 9, 1923 to Henry John and Julia Westervelt Rau.

In addition to his parents, Bert was preceded in death by his sisters Marjory Rau Graser (Fritz) and Ethel Rau Muehlenweg (Charles), his son John Frederick Rau, and his lifelong friend Glenn MacKellar.

Bert is survived by his wife and best friend, Shirley Roberts Rau; daughters, Barabara Skinner, husband Steve, and Joanne Hoover, husband Richard; Daughter-in-law Joyce Rau; grandchildren Jonathon Rau (Charlotte), Erica Rau (Stacey Taylor), Matthew Skinner, Stephanie Skinner, Katie Skinner (Jonathan), great grandchildren Luke Griffith, John Rau, Michael Rau, and Matthew Rau.

Bert was a Veteran of the US Army, having served in WWII in the European campaign. Upon his return he married Shirley Dubre Roberts in Mt Holly. He completed his degree in Textile Engineering at the Philadelphia Textile Institute. His career took the family to Detroit, MI where he worked in the Styling Department at Ford Motor Company. He moved to High Point in 1958 to represent Craftex Mills, Inc. He was well respected in the furniture industry where his professionalism and his genuine support of both clients and colleagues resulted in many long term friendships.

Upon retirement Bert turned to his major loves: woodturning, skiing at Beech Mountain, traveling with Shirley, and all things family.

Our Papa Bert is a state of mind. After surviving the Battle of the Bulge he was from that point on an optimist, believing all things possible. Married to Shirley, his best girl, he spent the next 74 years living his best life. Ever grateful for his family he was our constant cheerleader, supporting our endeavors in any way he could. It is now up to each of us to live our best life in honor of him.

The family will receive visitors on Friday, July 16, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Sechrest Davis on Phillips Avenue in High Point.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of your choice or the Salvation Army.

Online condolences for the family may be made at


  • Henry John & Julia Westervelt Rau, Parents (deceased)
  • Shirley Roberts Rau, Wife
  • Barbara Skinner & husband Steve, Daughter
  • Joanne Hoover & husband Richard, Daughter
  • John Frederick Rau, Son (deceased)
  • Joyce Rau, Daughter-in-law
  • Erica Rau & Stacey Taylor, Granddaughter
  • Stephanie Skinner, Granddaughter
  • Katie Skinner & husband Jonathan, Granddaughter
  • Matthew Skinner, Grandson
  • Jonathon Rau & wife Charlotte, Grandson
  • Luke Griffith, Great-grandson
  • John Rau, Great- grandson
  • Michael Rau, Great- grandson
  • Matthew Rau, Great- grandson
  • Ethel Rau Muehlenweg & husband Charles, Sister (deceased)
  • Marjory Rau Graser & husband Fritz, Sister (deceased)
  • Glenn MacKellar, Lifelong Friend (deceased)

  • Hospice of your choice
  • The Salvation Army


  • Visitation

    Friday, July 16, 2021


Bert Westervelt Rau

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gene Briggs

July 19, 2021

Bert was an upbeat gentleman and great woodturner. I have enjoyed being in woodturning club with him and cutting his hair for many years. One on my best friends! Hope his family is rejoicing on him being in a beautiful place!

Bob Phillips

July 15, 2021

Margaret and I have fond memories of our Cherokee Hills neighbors. We wish the Rau family peace and patience as you adjust. Warm thoughts from us near Richmond VA.

Joanne Hoover

July 15, 2021

My dad and I sitting on the front porch.

Joanne Hoover

July 15, 2021

Elizabeth Douglass Walsh

July 14, 2021

Bert and Shirley were the hippest people ever. Mrs. Rau made our clothes and doll clothes and Mr. Rau made our doll furniture. We Douglass kids have many happy memories of the Rau family. We have a hole in our heart and send prayers of comfort to you all. Much love.

Barbara Plott

July 14, 2021

Shirley, I have always so admired you and Bert and loved the relationship you two had. It was a loving, caring, and most of all wonderfully honest one. I know how much you and the family will miss him. I loved the photo you chose….What a wonderful smile! I remember it well!

Anthony and Donna Favia

July 14, 2021

Joanne and Butch:

Anthony and I are so very sorry about the passing of your father. What a GREAT man! You, your family and your dad are in our thoughts and prayers. I have added Bert's name to our church's prayer list and a community of caring people will be remembering your father in prayer and love.

Love you both!