VORRHEESVILLE — Taking pleasure in life’s simple beauty, Jane Rauch passed along her love of music, the outdoors and healthy homemade food to those closest to her.
She died, after a brief illness, on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 her Voorheesville home surrounded by her family, she was 91.
“Like a cozy fire in a room full of family, she could be in the corner sparkling, her presence always felt, and she will be missed,” said her granddaughter Heather Bromley.
Mrs. Rauch played three instruments, was an enthusiastic leader and teacher in the New Scotland 4-H Club and loved making healthy meals from scratch.
“She’s the bright-eyed lady of many talents whose ambitions were for her loved ones,” said Mrs. Bromley.
Working as a bookkeeper in her younger years for the family business, Coughtry Linoleum, Mrs. Rauch left her job to devote time to her children.
Born in New Scotland on Sept. 25, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Frank W. and Julia (Flagler) Coughtry, who owned a farm in Slingerlands.
At the age of 2 she and her family moved to West Virginia to start a new business.
During the Great Depression, her father owned and operated a potato chip business there for about seven years before the family returned to New Scotland.
“She loved her time in West Virginia,” recalled her son-in-law, Larry Rapant. “She mentioned a number of times when the family left — she was 9 — that the car was totally silent the entire ride back home,” he said.
Mrs. Rauch married, William T. Rauch, in 1941. He died in 1992 shortly after the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They bought a rural home in New Scotland and their first of three children was born in 1942.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Mrs. Rauch raised goats, gardened, and became an active member in her local 4-H club helping to teach other young girls how to sew, bake, and care for animals. She was also a Cub Scout den mother.
“She was an excellent cook, ahead of her time in preparing things low in fat, low in sugar,” said Mr. Rapant. He loved the pie she made from apples picked from a nearby orchard with a whole-wheat crust. She would also make her own goat milk, cheese and entered her products and livestock in competitions at the Altamont Fair.
“She also grew her own rhubarb and made a great rhubarb pie. She also made oatmeal cookies and gingerbread.” said Mr. Rapant. He said she always used all natural and wholesome ingredients when cooking.
Closely related to her love of natural foods was Mrs. Rauch appreciation for nature.
“Some day she be out in the fields picking berries all day long,” recalled Mr. Rapant.
The family took annual summer camping trips to the Adirondacks and in the winter they would go skiing at a small hill resort, Ski-land, owned by Mr. Rauch.
When Mrs. Rauch’s granddaughter came to visit her during the school year, Mrs. Rauch would walk her to her second-grade classes in Voorheesville, more than a mile away
“She liked being outside, she liked the exercise and she liked to get her granddaughter outdoors to exercise,” said Mr. Rapant. He also said Mrs. Rauch was known for leaving little notes to herself jotted down on small pieces of paper. One the family discovered on a calendar reminded Mr. Rapant of the kind of person Mrs. Rauch was.
“On the calendar she had written a little note, ‘Saw a bird,’ said Mr. Rapant, who imagined she may have been noting the first sighting of songbirds in the spring.
“Most of us write down ‘Got to go to dentist’ and that sort of thing but she wrote ‘Saw a bird.’ The fact that it should be an important enough thing for her to write — recording it is very intriguing to me,” he said.
Mrs. Rauch also enjoyed music; she played the violin, piano, and the accordion, and could often be heard singing to herself.
She shared her love of music with her kids, who were taught to play the piano and guitar. She would also sing with her grandchildren, some of whom are music students at attending The College of Saint. Rose.
In the last few years, Mr. Rapant said, Mrs. Rauch enjoyed being outdoors and bathing in the sun.
“We used to joke that she’s primarily the reason I’m not a famous comedian because I didn’t have any of the stereotypical mother-in-law material. We all got along very well — her, my wife, and I,” said Mr. Rapant. Mrs. Rauch was cared for, and lived with Mr. Rapant and her youngest daughter, Virginia Rapant, for the last 20 years.
“She will be missed by everyone,” Mr. Rapant said.
Jane Elizabeth (Coughtry) Rauch is survived by her children, Henry William Rauch and his wife, Dorothy, of Morgantown, W. Va.; Carol Ann Bromley and her husband, Peter, of Eden, N.C.; and Virginia Rapant and her husband, Larry, of Voorheesville; her grandchildren, Denise Hamrick and her husband, Jason; Heidi Bromley; Heather Bromley; and Hollyanne Barker and her husband, Kevin; her great-grandchildren, Rachel Newman and Roger Christman; her brother, Jon Roger Coughtry and his wife, Evelyn; her sister-in-law, Helen Coughtry and several nieces and nephews.
Her husband,William T. Rauch, and her brothers, Howard and David Coughtry, died before her.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at the New Comer Cannon Funeral Home at 343 New Karner Road, Colonie. A calling hour will precede the service from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday.
Mourners may leave a message for the family online, visit www.NewcomerAlbany.com
Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany at 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205, or to the New Scotland Presbyterian Church, 2010 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands, NY 12159.
— Tyler Murphy