Ruth (Miller) Rau

ruth (miller) rau

June 29, 1941 ~ May 16, 2023

Born in: Hillsboro, Illinois
Resided in: Panama, Illinois

Ruth (Miller) Rau, 81, of Panama, passed away at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

Ruth was born June 29, 1941, in Hillsboro, the daughter of Hugh Clarence and Carmen Winifred (Bollman) Miller. She graduated from Greenville High School with the Class of 1959, and in her younger years worked as a phone operator in Sorento, and for Webco in Litchfield. Ruth married Otto Rau on February 6, 1960, in Sorento, and they enjoyed over 63 years of marriage.

Ruth was a homemaker, devoting herself to her family. Later in life, she worked for Sears Catalog and CNB Bank in Hillsboro. She loved the company of others and was always a joy to be around. There was rarely a time Ruth didn’t have a big smile on her face.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Darrell Rau; sister, Wanda Bilyeu; and brothers, Darrell, Russell, and Donald Miller.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Otto Rau of Panama; son, Rex (wife, Micki) Rau of Donnellson; daughter-in-law, Cathy Rau of Panama; grandchildren, Joe Zobrist of Panama, Seth Balla of Texas, and Sarah (wife, Matt) Lafone of Pocahontas; great grandson, Jesse Zobrist; twin sister, Ruby Wallace of Sorento; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

No public services are planned at this time.

The family has entrusted Perfetti-Assalley Funeral Home in Panama with arrangements.

Please visit to share memories of Ruth, or to offer condolences to her family.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Light a CandleLoved this lady. She was one in a million. My deepest sympathies to Otto, Rex & Micki and Ruby. ❤️

  2. Light a CandleMiss Ruth, I will so much miss our little Friday “chat” visits at IGA. I will be thinking of you often, buying popcorn for Mr. Otto. Still love you and will miss you greatly yet, I know, you are smilling and happy in Heaven. God Bless you, Miss Ruth. See ya later!

  3. Light a CandleWas sorry to hear about Ruth. I worked with her at Sears … one of the sweetest persons ever… will always remember that smile. Will keep all in my thoughts and prayers🙏

  4. Light a CandleRuth was just a fabulous sweet lady! Thoughts & Prayers for the Whole Family! Rusty & Bev Seamon

  5. Light a CandleMy heart breaks ! I loved Ruth ! Did her hair for many years and saw her every week until my retirement… she always had a smile and made me feel better just to be with her …She will be missed by many because she lit up a room and truthfully the nicest person in it ! Otto , So sorry for this tremendous lose❤️

  6. Light a CandleShe was a very special woman and will be missed. Always liked Ruth and Otto coming into TSC to get supplies.

    Prayers and thoughts are with the family.

  7. Light a CandleRuth and Otto hold a great place in my heart. When I moved back to Greenville one of the first folks to recognize me was Ruth and Otto. Proud to have them say Laura Lynn, the Harmon girl. Going to miss her, my thought and prayers are with you all

  8. Light a CandleOtto and family.
    Ruth was such a joy to be around. She was a very sweet lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and all of Ruth’s friends.

  9. Light a CandleI’ll miss you my dear friend. I learned so much from you…besides crocheting. I learned how to be more patient with difficult people, how to make someone feel good about themselves, how to smile sincerely even if you’re not having a good day…so much. You were a wonderful friend to the MCCA and we will always miss you. Love you always Ruth😔💔

  10. Otto and family,
    I am so,so sorry to lose Ruth. It’s been so long since we’ve gotten together I was hoping to do that next month while Dorothy is here. Ruth will definitely be missed. She always had a smile for everyone. I still remember your wedding.
    Sending hugs and prayers for comfort.

  11. Light a CandleOtto 😞 Ruth always have a smile for everyone, very sweet lady,
    Thoughs and prayers are with you and family , I will miss her .

  12. Light a CandleRuth you will be missed dearly…You were such a sweet lady…I will miss our book discussions…Fly With The Angels

  13. Light a CandleRuth and Otto were always a light for me, coming back to Panama each year and meeting them at the cafe. Always a smile and warm conversation. Ruth was such a special lady!! Otto, my heart is with you at this time. Sending love and prayers to Otto and the whole family!!!

  14. So sorry to hear of this. I used to love the Saturday morning “talk show” with Otto and Ruth and the “double R”. Will miss her much. What a sweet, kind person. Heaven got a good one.

  15. Light a CandleRuth was always so nice. She and Otto were good friends of my parents. I remember her behind the counter at Sears for pick up orders. She will be missed.

  16. Bob and I first met Otto and Ruth at Nu Wave Deli. We found we had mutual friends. They both didn’t know a stranger. Ruth was always so sweet to us. Although I didn’t know her for a long time I felt I did. We will miss her. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  17. Light a CandleShe will be sorely missed. I always remember how kind she was. My heart goes out to you all.❤️

  18. Light a CandleI had SO many great memories growing up with Ruth and Otto as neighbors during my childhood. Two of the most selfless people I have ever met. Ruth, you will be missed by so many. Prayers to the Rau family and friends.

  19. Light a CandleRuth will be so greatly missed by all who knew her and loved her. Always thoughtful and loving. Hugs and pressers for Otto, Rex, Micki, Kathy and grands kids and great granddaughters. ❤️

  20. We want to add our condolences to Otto and his family. Ruth & Otto were so good to visit and Ruth always had a smile on her face. She will always be in our hearts.

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