Shirley A. (Zook) Rathke

December 14, 1940 ~ January 10, 2022 (age 81)

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Shirley A. Rathke, age 81, of Witmer Lake in Wolcottville, IN went to be with the Lord on Monday, January 10, 2022 at her residence surrounded by her loving family.  Mrs. Rathke was born on December 14, 1940 in Goshen, IN to Russell Zook and Claire Nadine (Hartsough) Zook-Miller.  She attended Topeka High School in Topeka, IN.  After being set up on a blind date by some dear friends, she married the love of her life and husband of 64 years, Ernest “Ernie” L. Rathke, on July 5, 1957 in Kimmell, IN.  Shirley had a profound passion and love for a local café in Wolcottville, IN called the Twin Six.  She dedicated 30 years of diligent pie making, salad bar preparation, and doing other task that may need handled.  Shirley had an endurance and work ethic and that could not be matched.  Even after battling cancer, she still found the inspiration to go to the Twin Six and take care of her duties.  Mrs. Rathke attended Eden Worship Center in Topeka, IN.  Shirley was quite festive around the holidays.  She would dress up to greet trick-or-treaters, hang Christmas lights, bake delicious Christmas cookies for all the neighbors, and always hosted all the family holiday meals with her superior cooking.  You could often find Shirley reading in her rocking chair or traveling to her grandchildren’s sporting events.  She never missed an event and always was ecstatic to attend the next one.  Putting people first and helping them are two lifelong qualities Shirley lived by.  She would always give to someone in need.  Shirley was a strong fighter who never let what she was going through break her spirit and love for others.  She had an exclusive nature that touched many lives in such a distinguished way.  Shirley was an absolute joy in all of our lives, and she will be deeply missed by her family, friends, Twin Six community, and all who loved her.  

Survivors include:
Spouse, Ernest “Ernie” L. Rathke of Witmer Lake in Wolcottville, IN.
Daughter, Tawnya Rathke of Witmer Lake in Wolcottville, IN.
Daughter, Tammy (Jim) Pfenning of Howe, IN.
Daughter, Tracy (Tim) Miller of Ligonier, IN.
Grandson, Cory Rathke of Wolcottville, IN.
Granddaughter, Nicole (Beau) Huebner of Radnor, OH.
Granddaughter, Jaime Pfenning of Fishers, IN.
Grandson, Reed (Kalynn) Miller of Kimmell, IN.
Granddaughter, Tara Miller (Brandon Pruitt) of Ligonier, IN.
Granddaughter, Tori Miller (Andrew Hagerman) of Kimmell, IN.
Great-grandson, Cole Rathke of Wolcottville, IN.
Great-granddaughter, Aubrey Rathke of LaGrange, IN.
Great-grandson, Derek Huebner of Radnor, OH.
Great-grandson, Elliot Huebner of Radnor, OH.
Sister, Sharon Turner of Topeka, IN.
Sister, Tana (Dick) Becker of Fort Wayne, IN.
Uncle, Larry Hartsough of Goshen, IN.

Shirley was preceded in death by her father; mother; step-father, Ray Miller; and daughter, Debbie Rathke.  

Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 3:00pm-8:00pm at Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 603 South Detroit Street, LaGrange, IN 46761.

Funeral service will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022 at 2:00pm at the funeral home.

Burial will take place at Eden Cemetery in Topeka, IN.

Officiating the funeral services  will be Pastor Harold Gingerich.  

Memorial donations may be directed to Parkview Hospice.

To sign the online guestbook or to share a memory of Shirley, visit or find us on

Arrangements and care trusted to Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services of LaGrange, IN.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley A. (Zook) Rathke, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Shirley

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January 13, 2022

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services
603 S Detroit St
LaGrange, IN 46761

Funeral Service
January 14, 2022

2:00 PM

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