Obituaries » IDA C. RATH

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April 20, 1926 - September 17, 2021

A Celebration of Life Memorial is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 3, at Covenant Living of Florida Village Center Auditorium, 9215 West Broward Boulevard, Plantation.   Interment will be on Saturday, October 23, at 11:00 am at Bella Vista Cemetery in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

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IDA CATHERINE RATH, 95 years of Grace, Beauty and Faith Long ago, far away, a beautiful little girl came into the lives of a loving, hard working farm family.  Albert and Gertrude Goodwin welcomed little Ida, their fourth daughter, into their home in Spencer, South Dakota on April 20, 1926.  Named after her grandmother, she was also known throughout her life as Little Honey, Peaches, Bird Legs, sweet sister, Aunt Ida, Duchess (married to my Dad, known as “Duke”), Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma and now often, Lady Ida.  The girls all went to a one room schoolhouse and literally did walk or ride a horse or sleigh through several feet of snow for miles to get there!

They had an opportunity to buy a farm and move to Westphalia, Kansas when the two youngest girls were in high school, with a little brother and new baby sister in tow.  They raised Angus cattle, corn, wheat, chickens, turkeys and pigs with a huge vegetable garden and flowers around the house.   Ida didn’t like anything to do with the chickens or cows!  My mom and her sister Juanita had to board in town for high school because it was too far – no buses in those days!

After graduating from high school with honors, and as an accomplished pianist, clarinetist, basketball star and cheerleader, she followed her sister to Kansas City.  There she worked and studied in secretarial school.  One of her jobs was putting the feathers on Hallmark cards!  Ida wanted to pursue higher education and moved to Norman, Oklahoma and lived with her oldest sister, June, who was married to a professor at Oklahoma University.  She studied Music Education and enjoyed practicing her instruments (she learned cello and conducting as well), being in Chorus and botany classes.  She loved music and plants!  She began working at the Sooner (or the Boomer) Theater as a ticket taker and met the dashing young projectionist, Otto Rath.  He kept walking her home and soon they fell in love.  They married on June 3, 1949, stayed in Norman and had a darling baby girl, Debra Kay in November, 1950.

Life as a geologist’s wife wasn’t easy, moving from town to town, as her husband’s career progressed.  She always made a beautiful, love filled home, nice new friends and found a welcoming church everywhere they moved – from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Dallas, to Tyler, to outside of Houston, then near Los Angeles, New Orleans, back to Houston and retiring in Bella Vista, Arkansas, near her sisters.

Ida was a survivor – as a young child she recovered from polio, near drowning in a horse tank, breaking her neck in a hay mound and frostbite.  As an adult, she overcame allergic reactions and two strokes, and had to live with a debilitating hearing loss from a fall her last 6 years.  She was a talented painter, fabulous cook and baker, creative seamstress, terrific pianist, accompanist and teacher, jewelry lover, choir member and organist, spelling ace, clever interior designer, crack bridge enthusiast and duplicate instructor, super shopper – especially shoes and purses, fashionista, lover of holidays, excellent typist, great gardenerchocoholic, fledgling golfer and tennis player, sailor, loved music, the movies, awards shows and Ninja Warrior.

Ida is pre-deceased by her parents and her sisters – June Fite, Beryl Drum and Juanita Art and her husband, Otto Rath.  She is survived by her brother Preston Goodwin (Jean) of Lee’s Summit, Kansas and her sister Wanda Meyer (Benny) of Topeka, Kansas and sister-in-law Lucy Olson of Durango, Colorado, daughter Rev. Debra McLaughlin (John Black), her beloved grandchildren Jonathan Rodgers (Dr. Daniel Jorgens Rodgers) of Richmond, California and Sarah Odle of Melbourne, Florida, and her precious great grandchildren Ashlyn (8) and Avery (4) Odle, and Jaeven (5) and Juno (3-1/2 month) Rodgers, and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Memorial is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 3, at Covenant Living of Florida Village Center Auditorium, 9215 West Broward Boulevard, Plantation.   Interment will be on Saturday, October 23, at 11:00 am at Bella Vista Cemetery in Bella Vista, Arkansas.