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Elaine Ruth Ratzlaff
1950-2024
Elaine Ruth Ratzlaff, 73, of Buhler, Kansas passed away Sunday, June 16, 2024 at Ascension via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. She was born on August 30, 1950 in Goessel, Kansas, to Otto J. and Martha C. (Schmidt) Unruh.

She graduated from Goessel High School with the class of 1968. She later attended Bethel College in Newton where she met her future husband, John W. Ratzlaff. They were married on January 23, 1970 at Tabor Mennonite Church in rural Newton.

She later graduated from and became an instructor at Sidney’s Hairdressing College. Elaine became a devoted homemaker, operated a beauty salon out of the home and helped with custom wheat harvesting across the Midwest until 1989, when they transitioned into full time farming east of Buhler. After the harvest, she worked at Gregory’s in Buhler where she developed many strong friendships.

She was a member of the Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1998, she and John founded Haiti Lifeline Ministries and served on the board for 20 years.

Elaine was a prolific oil painter and had a passion for animals and her family.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years; daughter, Stephanie (Doug) Smith of Lee’s Summitt, MO; son, Jason Ratzlaff of Burbank, CA; two grandchildren, Jackson Palmer and Hayden Palmer, and brother, Robert (Connie) Unruh of North Newton.

Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Bonnie Heinrichs and Mae Nelson; and infant twin brothers.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, June 21, 2024 at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church Cemetery, rural Inman. Memorial services will follow at 11 a.m., at Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church and the service can be livestreamed at www.buhlermb.org. Family will greet friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 20 at Buhler Mortuary. Memorial contributions may be made to Haiti Lifeline Ministries or Omega House of Buhler in care of Buhler Mortuary, PO Box 589, Buhler, KS 67522.

 

Visitation

Buhler Mortuary
120 N. Main
Buhler, KS 67522
620-543-2220
Website

Service/Mass

Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church Cemetery
43 13th Ave
Inman, KS 67546
620-585-6733
Website

Interment Funeral

Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church Cemetery
43 13th Ave
Inman, KS 67546
620-585-6733
Website

Funeral Home in Charge

Buhler Mortuary
120 N. Main
Buhler, KS 67522
620-543-2220
Website