I didn’t know his name was Eugene. I feel bad about that. I guess I actually thought of his name in a combination because two names were always together – Gene and Jan. Or sometimes it was reversed – Jan and Gene. I didn’t know her name was Janice. The two together were a powerful force for working in the Kingdom. They were a team that worked tirelessly for mission and mercy work. I met them because they asked me to do a Project 24 presentation at their church in Fergus Falls and they became avid supporters of Project 24. I had put together a mission service based on “Witness, Mercy, and Life Together” to be used in conjunction with Holy Communion and Gene invited me to officiate along with District President Fondow. His concern for missions and his wife’s concern for mercy were wonderfully complimented with a combined love and respect for Pastors. When Project 24 was going through the hard times and folks were giving us the business, Gene said something I will never forget. He told me that if mercy work overseas was easy there would be no reason for us to get involved. I remember thinking that if any Pastors were going through some tough times in the neighborhood Gene and Jan could take them to the Diner out on I 94 and give them the Prause pep talk and some Swedish meatballs, and all would be well with the world.
So they worked with the LWML, LLL, Orphan Grain Train, Lutheran Island Camp and probably a lot more that I know nothing about. Whether in a little church out in the country, or at a big LCMS/ LLL/ LWML convention you could ask about and usually find Gene and Jan or vice versa.
Now Gene is gone to be with the One who is the resurrection and the life and whose mercy endures forever. Jan is left with memories and the still beating heart of mission and mercy that was given her in her baptism. To Gene “well done good and faithful servant”. To Jan – continue to rejoice in the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of your inheritance until you acquire possession of it as Gene has, to the praise of God’s glory.
Eugene John Prause, 76, a resident of Fergus Falls died May 10, 2016 at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls.
He was born on May 7, 1940 in Baldwin, WI to John and Harriet (Brathall) Prause. He grew up on a farm near Roberts, WI, graduating from high school there in 1959. After graduation he attended the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, WI.
On May 7, 1961 he married Janice Jacobs at Collingwood Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cumberland, WI. After their marriage they moved to St. Paul where he worked for Brown and Bigelow then moved to Hastings where he began working for Fritzie Fresh Candy Company of Newport for over 33 years. He then started working for Minter-Weisman Candy Company in Plymouth, retiring in 2003 and making their home in Fergus Falls. In his retirement he worked part-time for Harvey-Winchell Company out of Bloomington.
Eugene loved to golf, and volunteered at Lake Region Hospital and at the Minnesota Zoo. He was an active church member and Elder of Trinity Lutheran Church. He was an avid reader of U.S. history. Eugene was the past president of the Minnesota North Lutheran Layman’s League and was associated with the Lutheran Hour Ministries.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Howard, Jerry and David.
He is survived by his wife Janice of Fergus Falls; daughters, Dawne (Bruce) Barwin of Thompson, ND and Christine (Mark) Call of Vermillion; four grandchildren, Tim (Rae Lynn) Barwin, Matt Barwin, Nathaniel Call, and Grace Call; two sisters, Joanne (Bob) Werner of Eau Claire, WI and Linda Lomblo of New Richmond WI; brothers, Bruce (Jeanette) Prause of Glenwood, Ronald Prause of St. Louis, MO, and Donald (Chris) Prause of Menomonee Falls, WI.
Visitation: One hour prior to the service at the church
Funeral Service: 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls
Clergy: Rev. John Christensen
Interment: At a later date at Lakeview Cemetery, Turtle Lake, WI