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Karen Swindler

In Memoriam of Scott Rausch 

Longtime instructor of electrical engineering, former interim department head, & dedicated alumnus of South Dakota Mines

Scott E. Rausch, son of Jesse and Dorothy Rausch, was born in Pierre, SD, on January 2, 1953.  He is survived by his wife, Linda, his mother, Dorothy, and his sister, Jody and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his father, Jesse, and his maternal and paternal grandparents.

Scott was raised on the family farm in Potter County close to many cousins. He graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1971. Scott attended South Dakota School of Mines, graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He was active on campus and as a member of Theta Tau fraternity. Scott served as senior class president at Mines as well as president of many other organizations. He joked that when they held the meeting for student group presidents, he wanted to be the only one there, but still have perfect attendance. He was in ROTC and later commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Army. He married Linda 6 months later.

After college, Scott and Linda worked for Union Carbide. Together they installed the first digitally controlled operation in the Cellosize Unit. Scott was the project manager for the controls installation and start up. Linda was the production manager. After two years, they moved to Iowa, where Scott worked for Rockwell Collins. At first, he worked on CAPS, a computer design. He then went into the Avionics field, starting in control systems for business aircraft. This involved world travel to all of the business aircraft manufacturers. He went on a few test flights but thought he would like to spend more time on the ground. 

After nine years at Rockwell, Scott moved on to other Avionics companies, including, Sperry, Honeywell, Loral, etc. He was proud to be the project leader for Honeywell, installing the complete Avionics system in the Boeing 777. After projects were complete, Scott was usually offered a job at the company that got the next big contract. 

Tired of moving all the time, in 2001 Scott and Linda retired and returned to their beloved Black Hills. Scott loved books and became very involved with the South Dakota Book Festival. This led to two gubernatorial appointments to The South Dakota Humanities Council. He served as treasurer there as well teaching the liberal bookies the reality of paying for things. Scott was also a Board Member of the Rapid City Arts Council and Dahl Fine Arts. Over the years, Scott was active in the Lions, Optimist and Toastmasters clubs. Scott earned his black belt in Taekwondo. 

In 2007, Scott began teaching general EE courses at Mines. He later became the “Power Guy” teaching all of the power classes. This led to many power plant visits and stops on the highway to look at transmission lines. Eventually, the EE Department Head left and Scott became the Acting Department Head for several years. At the time of his death, Scott was teaching the second semester of the new Avionics Minor which he worked with President Jim Rankin to establish. In 2017, Scott received the Ennenga Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2018 he was awarded the university's highest honor for alumni, the March Medal. 

Scott loved his family and friends and was there for them always. He was a tireless mentor for his students and a highly respected colleague.

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