Irene A. Ratzloff
Irene Ratzloff was born Feb. 27, 1929, to Maurice and Mary Ducommun in Peabody, Kan. She was the fourth child of 13 children. With family at her side, God reached down and called her home on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, at the age of 82, while on a short stay at Salem Home Skilled Unit in Hillsboro.
Mother lived around the Florence area in the country during her childhood years. She attended the Summit Church in the Burns-Peabody area. She helped the family on the farm and learned the value of very hard work early in life. Although they experienced tragedy in their family, Mother enjoyed a happy childhood. When she was 9 years old, a massive house fire claimed the life of her 13-year-old sister, leaving their large family devastated. Mother was impressed when the neighbors and community reached out to help rebuild their lives.
On June 13, 1950, she was married to Perry L. Ratzloff in El Dorado, Kan., sharing life’s joys, challenges, and sorrows for 61 years and 7 months. To this union nine children were born. The ninth child passed away after only 40 tender hours of life.
On March 13, 1983, Mother and Dad renewed their vows with the Lord and were reconsecrated into the Alexanderfeld Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, Kan. Mother’s faith was very precious to her and she lived life as a sincere and faithful Christian. She deeply appreciated the renewed fellowship of her people. She carried a spiritual concern for her children and grandchildren and prayed for them often.
Mother was kindhearted and had a quiet temperament. Her fulfillment in life came from the dedication to her work and her interest in the lives of her family and members of the congregation. Mother’s most joyful fulfillment was being a member of the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. She especially loved listening to the church singers. Even when her health deteriorated, attending church was very important to her. She became limited in physical activities and bore much pain.
Mother was a dedicated hard worker and enjoyed her profession of cooking for her hospital patients, willingly giving nearly 42 years of service at St. Luke Hospital in Marion, Kan. Mother enjoyed gardening and put in many long, hard hours preserving food for the family pantry and to share with others. Her love for us was often expressed by preparing our favorite dishes and having us over for Sunday gatherings.
Mother enjoyed her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren very much. She