Rev. Wayne L. Rager

October 1, 1927 - June 7, 2013

Visitation: Visitation will be Tuesday from 2 to 8 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton, with family present from 6 to 8 p.m.

Service: Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at Canton United Methodist Church

                                                           Canton.  Rev. Wayne L. Rager, age 85, a former Methodist pastor in South Dakota, passed away Friday, June 7, 2013 at Sanford Centennial Hospice in Sioux Falls.  Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at Canton United Methodist Church, followed by burial at Forest Hill Cemetery.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 2 to 8 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home in Canton, with family present from 6 to 8 p.m.   

          Wayne was born October 1, 1927 at Crofton, NE, the son of Clarence and Florence  (Zurcher) Rager.  He graduated from high school in Dallas, OR and later from Yankton College.  He then completed seminary school in Washington, D.C.

          Wayne was united in marriage to Mary Ann Damm July 31, 1949 in Yankton.  They lived in several cities in South Dakota (Irene, Scotland, Tyndall, White, Hitchcock, Canton, Sioux Falls, and Madison) where Wayne served as pastor. He also served as a pastor in Huntingtown, MD.  Wayne retired in 1990.  Wayne enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.  He also enjoyed his pets, raising Bantam chickens, and compiling information for his family’s genealogy.  Wayne a member of the Canton Masonic Lodge and served on the Colonial Village board of directors.

          Wayne is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann; two sons, Daniel (Linda) Rager of Sioux Falls and Tom (Deb Simunek) of Luverne, MN; 5 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, David, and two sisters, Pat and Sherrie.

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  1. Carol Nohava-Kinney on June 8, 2013 said:

    My sympathy goes out to the family of Wayne Rager. I was a member of the Scotland United Methodist Church in Scotland when he was a minister there. Didn’t realize you lived so close to me. I live in Hawarden, Ia. for the last 33 years. Wayne will be missed by all.

  2. Marcia Blume on June 9, 2013 said:

    Dan and Linda sorry to hear about your father death. May God Bless His Memory

  3. Dick and Karen Grapevine on June 10, 2013 said:

    Mary Ann and family-you have our sympathy at this very difficult time, he was a special man and we enjoyed having Pastor Wayne and you as our clergy in Ellis for many years and then continuing at Sunnycrest. You both leave fond memories. You have many memories also and no one can take them away. God Bless you and sustain you with his mighty arms.

    Dick & Karen Grapevine and families

  4. Bro Denny Campbell on June 10, 2013 said:

    I am sorry for your loss. Rev. Rager was a very special person. Rev. Rager married me and Laurel on Dec 29th 1992, Baptized my dad before he passed, and did the most insperational service at his funeral. I always enjoyed his service’s at Sunny Crest Church. God Bess Denny & Laurel Campbell

  5. Roger and Lonnie(willmott) Hansen on June 11, 2013 said:

    Our sincere sympathy to you Mary Ann and your family. Rev. Rager has always been special to us as he
    married us 50+ years ago in White, SD, we celebrated our 50th last September. May God bless each of
    you in this difficult time.

  6. Bruce and Margaret Gray on June 11, 2013 said:

    Many fond memories of sharing time with Wayne and Mary Ann when we first came to South Dakota at Tulare. Over the years there have been sharing times with Wayne while attending annual conferences and, when I was at Madison, he was asked to respond as a “favorite pastor” by several families at times of need: Wayne graciously shared and that was a blessing to me and to them. Rest in peace.

  7. Peter Gustaf on June 11, 2013 said:

    Rev. Rager had an impact on many lives. I am grateful that he took the time to be in mine. Rev. Rager left this world a much better place because he lived. My condolences and sympathy to his family.

    Pete Gustaf

  8. Carol Childress on June 17, 2013 said:

    I would like to express my sympathy to you on the loss of a great man. I was one of those 9 little Nichols kids from Beloit, who found their new home at Canton United Methodist Church and we were welcomed by all of you, but especially Rev. Rager who took us in, and had a large group baptism for us. He always had a smile and such a pleasant way about him. I am sure you will miss him……………but how amazing to know that he is in the care of his Lord and that you will be reunited on day!

  9. Waiva Reimers on June 19, 2013 said:

    Dear Mary Ann, Daniel and Tom, Rev. Rager was always one of my favorite people in my life. It has been a long time since I’ve seen any of you. Still have memories tho. It’s hard to say goodbye to one you’ve loved so long. You have my deepest sympathy. with Love , Waiva

  10. Signe Espinoza on July 5, 2013 said:

    To the Rager Family
    My sincerest sympathies to the Rager family. My earliest memories of pastor Rager was he was one of the coolest pastors ever known in Canton, SD. So gentle and understanding but loved a good laugh too!!! He and my dad Ray Bunkers are probably up on the hill now celebrating their new life and as my dad always said someday they will all be up there playing cards together and so now maybe they are????