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William Frank Dau

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article

April 22, 1929 - May 28, 2024

William Frank Dau, age 95, of Algona passed away on May 28, 2024, at Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. Visitation will be held at Lentz Funeral Home in Algona at 9:30 a.m. on July 5. A memorial service will follow at 10:30 a.m., with Rev. Briton Nelson officiating. Burial will take place after the memorial service, at Riverview Cemetery in Algona. Services have been entrusted to Lentz Funeral Home of Algona.

William F. Dau (Bill) the son of William Carl and Hertha (Schroeder) Dau, was born on April 22, 1929, in Algona. He graduated from Algona High School in 1946. Following high school, he completed an Associate Degree program at Hamilton Business College in Mason City.

On Sept. 18, 1949, Bill was united in marriage with Lois E. Fraser at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona. Bill began working as a mechanic for Dau’s Garage, his father’s business, and subsequently as a salesman while he owned and managed Dau Garage Inc. for many years. He sold his business in 1989, and enjoyed his retirement for nearly 35 years.

One of Bill’s hobbies involved everything to do with cars. In earlier years he built and raced midget cars at the fairgrounds. In the year before he proposed to Lois, he built a full-size car that he later drove to Chicago to find a buyer for the car, using the proceeds to get married. At Dau Garage Inc., Bill’s lineup of new cars evolved over the years, but “Oldsmobile and Rambler” are perhaps two of the most remembered.

Music was an integral part of Bill’s life, singing in the church choir at Trinity Lutheran and sharing his deep bass voice with a barbershoppers quartet. He and Lois frequently took to the dance floor, jitterbugging and waltzing to live music by “The Memory Brothers” whenever they were in town.

Fly-fishing was nearly a lifelong passion, and Bill began learning in his youth, sharing his gas rationing coupons with “the old fisherman” who took him along on their adventures. His artistic knack found an outlet in tying flies. Over the years the “fishing holes” ranged from Lake Okoboji, Fox Lake (Minn.), and Red Cedar River (Wis.), to ocean fishing on the coasts of Florida, Bahamas and Mexico.

Family vacations created treasured memories as Bill took the family on trips to New York for the World’s Fair, Yellowstone, southern California and Florida. Many summer weekends were spent at Lake Okoboji, teaching the kids to waterski and how to drive the boat. In later years, he traveled with a camper and the itinerary included fishing lessons for kids and grandkids.

“Grandpa Dau” was especially proud of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was happy with every opportunity to teach them about fishing, pool, cars and driving.

Left to cherish Bill’s memory are his children, William L. (Pam) Dau of Algona, Marilyn S. (Thomas) Bey of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Jeanne L. (Richard) Boone of Rio Rancho, N.M. and Laurel A. Meyer of Waukee; eight grandchildren, Gayle Derfus, Nathan Dau, Jeanne Gengerke, Nick Dau, Jaclyn Estes, Michaela Balaski, Alyssa Meyer and Jack Meyer; 12 great-grandchildren, Troy, Sasha and Kira Derfus, Hayden Dau, Charlie and Nora Gengerke, William A. and Samuel Dau, Sawyer, Sterling and Savannah Estes, and Daisy Balaski; a sister, Evelyn Ruhnke of Algona; sister-in-law Addie Fraser of Bloomington, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years, Lois; parents, William C. and Hertha Dau, brother-in-law Wilbert Ruhnke and son-in law Matthew Meyer.

Memorials may be made in Bill’s name and directed to the Water’s Edge Nature Center in Algona, or the Kossuth County Historical Society in Algona.

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