Rick A. Jauert
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Rick A. Jauert died peacefully on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at Tuff Memorial Home in Hills, Minnesota, from complications related to Multiple System Atrophy, a degenerative neurological disease.
Rick was born on March 18, 1954 to Russell and Norma (Olson) Jauert in Luverne, Minnesota. The fourth of seven children, he was raised on a dairy farm outside of Luverne. He lost his father at age twelve. The family worked together to stay on the farm through his high school years. Rick was active in 4-H and began his political career (interest) while still in high school when Ray O'toole involved him in campaigning for Rick Nolan. After graduating from Luverne High School in 1972, Rick was a foreign exchange student in the Philippines. Upon returning, he attended the University of Minnesota, Morris. He was the first of his family to attend college. In college, he served in a wide variety of leadership capacities including being a resident assistant and dorm director in various dorms and serving as Chairman of the Budget Advisory Committee. He was a vociferous lobbyist for students' rights and student involvement in the decision making of the campus. He graduated with honors from college. In 1976, Rick moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as an intern in Rep. Rick Nolan's Congressional office. Over the next 36 years, Rick worked for 10 Members of Congress including seven from Minnesota, two from New York and one from California, in various capacities including chief of staff and press secretary.
He retired in 2010 and moved to Luverne in 2012 after his diagnosis, but continued to be deeply involved with political fundraising for political candidates at every level of government. One of his proudest achievements was helping elect Rep. Nolan back to Congress in November, 2012. Rick was proud to be able to travel to Washington one last time on January 3, 2013 for Rep. Nolan's swearing in ceremony.
Rick lived on Capitol Hill during his time in Washington, maintaining a three-story townhouse just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Rick's welcoming and generous spirit, as well as hundreds of pieces of political memorabilia, drew roommates ranging from Members of Congress to college interns from Luverne and Morris, and everyone in between. Rick had no children, but referred to many of his renters as "his kids".
Rick maintained an extensive Christmas list and each year would send a photo of himself with a high-profile political or popular figure (recently he featured First Lady Michelle Obama), signing the card, "The Jauerts." He often emailed his wide network of friends and colleagues, sharing his take on the latest news story, political campaign, or scandal.
Rick traveled to Rome, Italy 55 times throughout his life and took great pleasure in watching foreign films. He collected countless historical political buttons and posters, hundreds of DVDs, CDs, and records, and thousands of books.
Rick was a wonderful mentor to his nephews and cousins' children.
Rick is survived by his sisters, Cheryl Jauert and Stella Board, Vickie Jauert and Ron Allen and their children, Jon and Jason, Lori Klein and her children Travis and Josh; brother, Gregg and Terri Jauert; aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Ron and Arlyn; and grandparents, August and Freida Jauert, and Ole and Meta Olson.
A celebration of Rick's life will be Saturday at 1:00 PM at the St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 - 8:00 PM at the Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne, and continue Saturday from 12:00 - 1:00 PM at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the University of Minnesota - Morris, for the Rick Jauert Memorial Internship Fund c/o Maddy Maxiener Office of Fund Development Welcome Center 600 East 4th Street, Morris MN 56267.
Published in The Argus Leader on June 5, 2013