In Memory of Lou W Rathjen

Lou W Rathjen
Lou W Rathjen
Born: October 11, 1941
Died: August 15, 2017
Age: 75
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Lou W Rathjen
October 11, 1941 - August 15, 2017
From: Ida Grove, IA

Lou W Rathjen, age 75, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at his residence of Ida Grove, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 19, 2017, at the Midwest Hangar of Ida Grove, Iowa. Committal Services following in the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa, with Military Rites conducted by McNamara -Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion. A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with family present from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday August 18, 2017, at The Christensen - Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Lou W Rathjen, son of John and Margaret (Evans) Rathjen was born on October 11, 1941 in Ida Grove, Iowa where he lived out his entire life. 

Lou graduated from Ida Grove High School in 1959, and while in his youth, was active in 4-H, FFA and an avid HAM radio operator using the handle KNOCJS.   Following high school Lou attended Buena Vista College and continued farming with his father before enlisting into the United States Air Force Reserves where he trained to be a Jet Engine Mechanic.  Lou exercised his skills while serving during the Vietnam War and carried out his proud service in later years by hauling the local Iwa Jima Float around the country with his close friend Bill Sample. 

August 4, 1973, Lou married Gail Duvall in a little white country church outside of Cherokee, Iowa, with Gail’s two children Beth and Tom to unite a happy family.    

Lou enjoyed custom farming in his early years after returning from service and began farming for Byron Godberson in 1972.  In due time, he took on many roles at Midwest Industries and Byron Originals until his retirement in the fall of 2016.  His entire 44 year tenure for the company was one of immense pride to him.  Lou also had great joy for his trucking business, Lou and Gail Rathjen Trucking.  No one worked harder than Lou and he was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, including a stray animal.  He was truly “one of a kind” that touched many lives and will be missed by all who came across his path. 

Lou is survived by his children Beth Enneking, Marcus, IA and “Tom” Brandon Thomas, Kansas City, MO; grandchild Daniel (Jorrie) Rector, Danbury, IA and two great-grandchildren Autumn and Leo; sisters Cathrine Rathjen Nix, Leawood, KS and Cary (Bruce Lindsley) Rathjen,  Penngrove, CA; nephew Cavin Rathjen, Denver, CO and niece Beth Rathjen, Sheridan, WY in addition to extended family and numerous friends.

Lou was preceded in death by his parents John and Margaret Rathjen; wife Gail Rathjen; brother Hank Rathjen; and nephew L.J. Rathjen.



10:00 a.m., Saturday
August 19, 2017
Midwest Hangar
Ida Grove, Iowa


Pastor Ken Miller


:Daniel Rector
CJ Rathjen
Craig Lanning
Kevin Schmidt
Darin Schau
Matt Rohlk

Honorary Pallbearers:
Russ Schmidt
Burly Grove
C.J. Triplett
Butch Korwes
Stewart Challstrom
Mark Blunk
Ed Edmunson
Art Houk
John Fischer
Scott Bechler
Ron Ladwig
Bruce Godbersen
Mike Duvall
Raymond "Bill" Sample - In Memory
Byron Godbersen - In Memory


4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Family Present from
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 18, 2017
Christensen - Van Houten
Funeral Home
Ida Grove, Iowa


Recorded Selections:
"Sticks and Stones" By Tracy Lawrence
"Silver Wings" By Merle Haggard

Vocalist - Bev Alesch
Vocal Selection: "How Great Thou Art"


Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa

Military Rites:
McNamara-Moore Post No. 61
of the American Legion
Ida Grove, Iowa


Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 8:43 AM
“My sympathy to the family of Lou. He was a genuinely kind man. Truly one of the best at Byron Originals! ”
- Teresa Fertig
Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 7:17 AM
“Rest In Peace classmate. Prayers for comfort for your family. ”
- Betty Rohwedder Peters
Friday, August 18, 2017 at 5:53 PM
“Lou's work ethics were top notch, his friendship was treasured, and we miss seeing him heading somewhere for a much needed part for some project he had in the works or just puttering around at his shop, which we will always think of as "Lou's shop". Your work here on earth is done, good friend, so rest in peace. ”
- Larry and Pat
Friday, August 18, 2017 at 5:53 PM
“We are so sorry to hear of Lou's passing. He is now pain free, and watching over all of us. Thoughts and prayers are with you all. Lou, you will be missed dearly. A very kind and caring man. Rest in Peace
- Bobbi & Keith Lohr
Friday, August 18, 2017 at 5:53 PM
“Mr. Lou. I have known you since the late '40's when your brother Hank and I were the terror of the Presbyterian Church Sunday School Class. I always enjoyed our conversations at Byron Originals and commend you on your dedication to the company. You were always our Go-To guy when we needed something done. The Lord has gained a new Right Hand Man. Requiescat in Pace.”
- Frederick Anderson
Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 5:30 PM
“On angels wings you will soar!”
- Micki Fischer
Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 5:30 PM
“I will miss seeing you in the office and asking how much rain we received. Rest is peace!”
- Linda Schwaller
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 9:03 AM
“You can rest now, dear friend, from your suffering here on Earth!”
- Ron Ladwig
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