Ruth Elaine Ratekin



March 30, 1927 - December 30, 2017


Ruth Elaine Ratekin, 90, of Cedar Falls died Saturday, December 30, 2017 at Western Home Communities Nation Cottage in Cedar Falls.


Ruth was born March 30, 1927, in Jefferson County, Iowa, daughter of Fred and Minnie Carlson O'Dean. She graduated from Fairfield, Iowa High School, received a B.A degree cum laude from Parsons College in 1948, and an M.A. in Business Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975. Ruth married Ned Ratekin on June 4, 1950 at the First Presbyterian Church in Fairfield, Iowa.


Ruth taught Business and Office Education courses in Wayland, Oelwein, Dubuque, and Cedar Falls high schools. She served as a Board member and Officer for the Iowa, North Central, and National Business Education Associations. Ruth received the Outstanding Iowa Business Educator award from the Iowa Business Education Association in 1987, and she was awarded the Lloyd C. Douglas Business Educator Alumni Award from the University of Northern Iowa in 1989. Ruth was a pioneer in introducing instruction in the use of the computer for office education students.


Ruth was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Falls, and served as a Ruling Elder in congregations in Fairfield, Dubuque, Mt. Pleasant, and Cedar Falls. Ruth was a founding member and president of Chapter MV of PEO, a member of Chapter OV, and served as President of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra Board. Following retirement, Ruth with her husband established the Carlson House Bed and Breakfast in Swedesburg, Iowa which they operated for 10 years.


Ruth is survived by her husband; three sons, Kent (Tricia) of Langley, Wash., Jack (Lori) of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Joel (Angie) of Nashville Tenn.; five grandchildren, Shonee Hightower (Mike) of Bothell, Wash., Lindsay Graham (Matthew) of Noblesville, Ind., Elizabeth Reeves (Weston) of Chesterfield, Va., Stephanie Ratekin of Richmond, Va., and Hannah Ratekin of Lakewood, Colo.; seven great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Emily Hightower, Benjamin, Joel, and Annika Graham, and Tyler and Natalie Reeves; sister, Margaret Swenson of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; and several nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister, Lucille Aronson.


Services are at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 5, 2018 First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Falls, with burial at New Sweden Chapel, Jefferson County, Iowa. Richardson Funeral Service is caring for Ruth's arrangments. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time on Friday at the church.


Memorials have been established for First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Falls or Western Home Communities Foundation.

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