Mary Lou Rauk-Snitker, 82, of Decorah, passed away Wednesday, June 12, 2019, peacefully at her home in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Big Canoe Lutheran Church in rural Decorah, with Rev. Kurt Bockoven officiating. Burial is in Big Canoe Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 17, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah and Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m., one hour before the service, at Big Canoe Lutheran Church. Organist is Kathryn Thompson. The Northern Lights will sing “I Will Sing with the Spirit.” Congregational hymns are “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art” and “For All the Saints.” Casket bearers are her grandchildren: Crystal Anderson, Kyle Anderson, Leigh Rauk, Joshua Rauk, Taylor Rauk, Oliva Rauk, Kaitlin Snyder and Austin Kammeyer. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Mary Lou Rauk-Snitker was born May 25, 1937, in Webster City, the daughter of
Marion and Genevieve (Clancy) Carter. She was one of five children. She graduated from Webster City High School with the class of 1955. She then attended Luther College in Decorah, where she earned her teaching certificate in 1959.

Mary Lou was united in marriage to Steflet A. Rauk Aug. 10, 1958, in Fairmont, Minn. They were blessed with three children: Jonathan, Kristine and Richard.
She later graduated from Luther College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, in 1980. She dedicated 30 years to teaching at North Winneshiek Elementary School. After retiring in 2000, she volunteered for numerous years throughout her local community. Mary Lou was a long time and very active member of Big Canoe Lutheran Church. She loved to sing and for many years participated in the Nordic Choir, Church Choir, Decorah Chorale and Northern Lights. Mary Lou’s strong faith guided her daily. She loved spending time with her family and the gift of conversation with her friends. She enjoyed following local high school sporting activities and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, giving greater celebration to the fall season. Years later she found love again and married Charles “Chuck” Snitker July 3, 2005, in Decorah.

Mary Lou is survived by her loving children: Jonathan (Sarah) Rauk of Ann Arbor, Mich., Kristine (Rick) Snyder of Waukon and Richard Rauk of Decorah; her grandchildren: Benjamin Snyder, Andrew Snyder, Kaitlin (Austin Kammeyer) Snyder, Leigh Rauk, Crystal (Kyle) Anderson, Joshua (Ashley) Rauk, Taylor Rauk and Oliva Rauk; her great-grandchildren: Dominic, Kolt, Blakelyn, Hayden and Piper; her siblings: Dennis Carter of Decorah, Neal Carter of Williamsville, Vt. and Lorraine Carter Borowski of Decorah; and brother-in-law Maynerd (Darlene) Rauk of Evansville, Wis.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Susan Carter, March 11, 2004; and husbands Steflet Rauk, May 11, 1996 and Chuck Snitker, April 24, 2012.

In loving memory of Mary Lou, memorials may be given to Big Canoe Lutheran Church Improvement Fund, Big Canoe Lutheran Church, 1381 Big Canoe Road, Decorah, IA 52101.