First Responders 04

Donald "Don" Karau Jr.

May 6, 1944 ~ February 13, 2020 (age 75)

Obituary Image


KEWANEE – Donald L. “Don” Karau Jr., retired Kewanee Fire Chief, 75, of Kewanee, died at 7:10 a.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020 at his home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 19 at Saint John Paul II Parish in Kewanee. Celebrant will be Fr. Johndamaseni Zilimu. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 18 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Windmont and Northeast Park Christmas Lighting Funds.

He was born May 6, 1944 in Kewanee, the son of Donald L. and Berniece (Schweiss) Karau Sr. He married Mary Jane VanBrandeghen on October 10, 1964 at Visitation Catholic Church. Survivors include his wife of Kewanee, two sons, David Karau of Kewanee and Dennis (Jodi) Karau of Colona, his daughter, Dianne (Bob) Lahey of Waunakee, WI, a brother, Kevin (Cheri) Karau of Kewanee, a sister, Rena VanDamme of Kewanee, four grandchildren; Nichole and Joey Karau and Sean and Ryan Lahey and two great grandchildren, Jordan and Kaiden. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Don graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1962. He worked for the Kewanee Fire Department for 32 years, retiring in 1998 as Fire Chief. He had also worked as a meat cutter at Piggly Wiggly and Eagles grocery stores and following retirement was a preschool bus driver for the Kewanee School District #229. He was a member of Saint John Paul II Parish in Kewanee, a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Kewanee serving as its President in 2001, had also served on the Kewanee City Council and was a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. He enjoyed electronics including; C.B.’s, Ham Radio’s, computers and photography. He also enjoyed fishing, boating, wintering in Florida and traveling, especially to Alaska. He followed sports and especially enjoyed following the activities and events of his grandchildren.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald "Don" Karau Jr., please visit our floral store.


February 18, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rux Funeral Homes
507 S. Chestnut St.
Kewanee, IL 61443

Mass of Christian Burial
February 19, 2020

10:00 AM
Saint John Paul II Parish
406 W. Central Blvd.
Kewanee, IL 61443

© 2020 Rux Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy