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Schrag, Esther Ratzlaff (1916-2012) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Schrag, Esther Ratzlaff (1916-2012)

Historical Note:

Mennonite World Review obituary:

Esther Frieda Ratzlaff Schrag, 95, died March 20, 2012, at Kidron Bethel in North Newton, Kan. She was born March 23, 1916, to Pastor John J. Ratzlaff and Mary Decker Ratzlaff near Meno, Okla.

She was baptized and joined Bethel College Mennonite Church on May 22, 1932. She was a faithful member of the local Mennonite church her entire life, including First Mennonite in McPherson, Eden Mennonite in Moundridge and Bethel College Mennonite in North Newton.

She was a 1934 Newton High School graduate. She graduated from Bethel College in 1938 with a bachelor's degree in home economics. On June 12, 1943, she married John O. Schrag, a fellow Bethel College classmate.

She was a home demonstrator of washing machines and other products for Bendix Corp. in Kansas City and with Hallmark Cards to help support her husband while he was in dental school. She taught home economics in Goessel and Hillsboro before her daughters were born and in McPherson once they were in school.

She was an active fundraiser for Bethel College, a mental health hospital in McPherson, Kauffman Museum and Kidron Bethel. She, John and their daughters spent two years in alternative service in Puerto Rico. After retirement, she and John served in voluntary service on three Native American reservations. She enjoyed traveling in the United States, Europe, Central and South America. She loved classical and sacred music.

Survivors include her husband, John Schrag; two daughters, Sandra Zerger and her husband, John, and Rebecca Fretz and her husband, Thomas; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Ruie Ratzlaff Becker, Walter Ratzlaff, Sadie Ratzlaff Harms, Paul Ratzlaff and Kathryn Ratzlaff Blair; and a grandchild, Amy Kristine Fretz.

Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church.

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