Thelma Loreen Ratzloff, known as Loreen, passed away on November 27, 2022 at Paramount Community Living and Rehab Center in Newton, Kansas.
Loreen was born on February 3, 1931 in Canton, Kansas. Her parents were Pete H. Ratzloff and Adina (Smith) Ratzloff. She had two brothers, Perry and Chet Ratzloff; and two sisters, Viola and Nadine Ratzloff.
Soon after being born, Loreen’s family moved to Texas. In 1935, they moved to a farm near Galva, Kansas. In 1937, they moved to a farm near Roxbury, Kansas; and in 1938 they moved back to Canton. In 1939 at age 8 her family moved to a farm South of Cedar Point, Kansas. This is where most of her childhood memories occurred. In 1946, her family moved to Burns, Kansas where Loreen attended high school.
Soon after graduating from high school, Loreen married Clifford Jule Roberts. They had two sons – Gary Roberts (with wife Diana) of Benton, Arkansas, and Galen Roberts of Springfield, Missouri; and two daughters – Charney Price (with husband David) of Newton, Kansas, and Wanda Lambert (with husband Wendel) of Dardenne Prairie, Missouri.
Later in her life Loreen was married to Harold Smith, and Keith Schirer. In addition to her four children, Loreen has 12 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.
Her parents and siblings are all deceased.
Loreen worked a variety of jobs throughout her life. She enjoyed working at Angle’s Grocery Store and Miller’s Egg Produce in Burns. She worked at Phillips Industries in Newton, Kansas. In the mid-1970s, Loreen worked at the Peabody Memorial Nursing Home as a nurse aide. Needing more income to support her family, she took a welding class and got a job at Hesston Corporation. Loreen later attended Wichita Practical Nursing School where she graduated in January 1984 at age 53 as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She took a job at the Peabody Memorial Nursing Home as a LPN, and later moved to Halstead, Kansas where she accepted a position at Regency Medical Center.
In addition to raising a family and working many difficult jobs, Loreen enjoyed playing on the Burns fast pitch softball team, painting, writing poetry, reading about history, and collecting antiques. She even wrote her own autobiography. Loreen grew up during the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and World War II. While she lived a difficult life, she was resilient. She persevered and endured. Loreen’s legacy of determination, grit, and independence will last for generations to come.
A celebration of Loreen Ratzloff’s life will take place on Friday, December 2 at 11:00 a.m. It will be held at Petersen’s Family Funeral Home Chapel located at 215 north Main in Newton, Kansas. There will be a visitation one hour before the celebration service from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. In place of flowers, memorials may be made out to the Peabody Legion and New Hope Shelter.