Rathje, Paul J.
Paul J. Rathje, 96, died peacefully Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, at Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton of complications from pneumonia. Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at St. John Lutheran Church in Newhall with the Rev. Steven Rempfer officiating. Friends may call at the church in Newhall from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Interment will be held at St. John Cemetery near Newhall. Phillips Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Paul was born Sept. 3, 1916, at Van Horne, to John and Elizabeth (Werning) Rathje. He graduated from Newhall High School. He married Lillian Carter on Aug. 27, 1947 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. Paul farmed until his retirement in 1981 when he and Lillian moved to Newhall.
He is survived by his four children, Martin (Roxanne), Mary Kennedy (friend Rick Flynn), Stephen (Beth) and Timothy (Tami); 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his sister, Marguerite Rathje; and his dog.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lillian; and his son-in-law, Gordy Kennedy.
He was a life long member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and 35 years Winter Texan. Over those years they formed many lasting friendships.
Paul lived a full life and was blessed to have lived 96 years. He was a great role model and inspiration to his family and many others. His heart was strong to the end and his compassion was experienced by all who met him.
Memorials may be given to St. John Lutheran Church or Central Lutheran School.
Condolences may be left at: www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Gazette Feb. 19, 2013.