Wanda Lois Rathje, 93, of Davenport, died peacefully Monday, March 4, 2013, at Genesis Medical Center, East Campus, Davenport. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the Runge Mortuary, 838 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport, IA. A private ceremony celebrating her life will be held on Friday with private burial at Davenport Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Scott County Genealogical Society or the Blue Devil Athletic Foundation. Online condolences may be expressed to Mrs. Rathje’s family by visiting her obituary at www.rungemortuary.com.
Wanda Lois Henning was born in McCausland, Iowa, on Sept. 24, 1919, daughter of Louis and Wilma (Zabel) Henning. She grew up on two farms surrounding Dixon, Iowa, and graduated from Calamus, Iowa High School in 1937. After post-high school training at Mt. St. Claire College, Wanda taught at several one-room schools in the Dixon and Allen’s Grove districts in Iowa. Later she worked at Rock Island defense plants before settling into life as a homemaker.
On Oct. 29, 1943, she married Gilbert L. “Gib” Rathje in Bennettsville, S.C. They were married for 46 years before his passing in 1989.
Wanda was talented baker and cook, having won a 1950’s trip to the national Pillsbury Bake-off competition. As her sons grew, she attended countless baseball, basketball and football games spanning over 25 years. She evolved into a great fan in support of her sons’ activities. Later in life she spent countless hours deeply involved in genealogy research and helped improve and develop the genealogical system in Scott County.
Those left to honor her memory include her sons, Larry Rathje, Davenport, James (Karen) Rathje, Bettendorf, Randall (Susan) Rathje, Davenport, and Eugene Rathje, Ottumwa, Iowa; and grandchildren, Charles and Katherine Rathje, both of Davenport.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers, Milton, Lloyd, Russell, Orville, Ernest and Donald Henning; and a sister, Grace Hinrichsen.