Darrel Raye Hauer, age 73, of Hudson, Wis., formerly of Decorah, passed away peacefully in his sleep Sept. 5, 2020.

Darrel was born on May 18, 1947 in Decorah. The only son of Hugo and Mathilda, he was a cherished brother to his older sisters Marolyn and Jeanette and his twin sister Carol.

After high school, he attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., and upon graduation, began a lifelong career in commercial refrigeration and heating. In 1969, he married his dear high school friend Theresa Ruzicka. Together they eventually settled in Albert Lea and had two sons, Corey (Cherie) Hauer of Las Vegas and Eric Hauer of Chicago.

In 2002, he lost his adored Theresa to cancer. An unstoppable tinker, he set about fixing his broken heart by fixing up his home, and when it was finished, he met Jamie O’Hara. They married in 2004. After first settling in Albert Lea, they eventually moved to Hudson, Wis., to be closer to grandchildren.

Darrel loved to travel, though he was comically prone to mishaps. Still, with his characteristic good humor, he recounted trips to Mexico and Argentina, Italy and France along with his adventures in emergency medical services. He was an incorrigible romantic, a faithful friend, and a devoted grandpa to Bella and Niki, Teddy and Abe. He was quick with guidance and quicker still with hugs. He loved to entertain, pouring tall glasses of wine, grilling perfect steaks, and making mountains of pancakes. He loved good books and good conversation and loved nothing better than to jigger with a stubborn engine, working with friends at Fall Electric until the end. To those he loved, Darrel was devotion in motion. He will be greatly missed by his beloved wife Jamie, their sons and children, his sisters, nieces, nephews, and friends.

A private gathering to celebrate Darrel’s life will be held at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. Funeral services have been entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes.