In Memory

Florence Rathe (Potthoff) - Class Of 1951

Florence S. (Rathe) Potthoff

Aug. 15, 1934 - Oct. 13, 2017

McCOOK, Neb. — Florence Shirley (Rathe) Potthoff of McCook passed away peacefully on Oct. 13, 2017, at Kearney Regional Medical Center in Kearney, Neb., with her family by her side. She was 83 years old.

 Florence was born Aug. 15, 1934, in McCook to parents, Albert E. and Ella (Alberts) Rathe. As an infant, Florence survived both the flood and tornado of 1935. She often recounted the story of how her family was unable to reach their storm cellar when the tornado hit, but were kept safe in a nearby road ditch where a sidewall of the house sheltered them from the storm. 

 Growing up, Florence attended school in McCook, graduating from McCook High School with the class of 1951. 

 On March 20, 1955, Florence was united in marriage to Marvin Dale Potthoff at Peace Lutheran Church, McCook. To this union seven children were born. The couple made their home in McCook. Florence was a busy homemaker and after the children were in school, worked outside the home. She worked at JC Penney, at Burlington Northern (CB&Q Railroad) as a PBX operator, Red Willow County Courthouse, and later at Walmart.

 When the children were young and Marvin’s employment required him to work on Sundays, Florence would often take her young family to join her parents at St. John’s Lutheran Church. They would spend Sundays on the Rathe Farm, where they waited for Marvin to meet them later in the day. In their later years, the family faithfully attended Peace Lutheran Church.

Florence was a member of St. John’s Ladies Aid, Good Friends at Southwest Elementary, the BN Past Time Club and the Retired Railroad Breakfast Club.  She shared her husband’s love for children and very much enjoyed attending their children and grandchildren’s many activities, rarely missing a sporting event or activity.

 Florence enjoyed cooking and baking cookies and candies for her family. In her free time, she also enjoyed latch hook, sewing, and crafts.  Her kids and grandkids looked forward to the many blankets she made for them.  Florence always had the most beautiful flowers around her home, especially her hanging baskets.  She loved to play bingo, dominos and card games with friends and family. She also loved her four-legged companions, Festus, Punky, Bailey and Zoey. In her later years, Florence was able to keep in contact with her family, via Instant Messenger on the computer she patiently learned to use.  This became an evening ritual she looked forward to each day. 

 Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin; her parents, Albert and Ella Rathe; father and mother-in-law, William and Katherine Potthoff; sister and brother-in-law, Gladys and Frank Skinner; and brother-in-law, Loren Williamson.

 Survivors include her seven children, Jeffery Potthoff and wife, Annette of Adkins, Texas, Kevin Potthoff and wife, Tami of McCook, Lance Potthoff and wife, Kristy of Kearney, Troy Potthoff and wife, Andrea of Kearney, Kyle Potthoff and wife, Lisa of McCook, Lisa Ryan and husband, Jack of Indianola, Neb., and Tanya Potthoff of Chester, Neb.; brother, Arlan Rathe and wife, Beverly of McCook; brothers-in-law, Don Potthoff and wife, Betty, Harold Potthoff and wife, Pam, and sister-in-law, Joyce Williamson, all of Trenton, Neb.; grandchildren, Jason Potthoff, Justin (Katherine) Potthoff and Amy Potthoff; Morgan (Kyle) Fornoff and Kaylee Potthoff; Austin, Brent (Kari) Potthoff,  Jordon (Lindsay) Potthoff; Keegan, Koy, and Keland Potthoff, Taylor and Brock Madsen; Haley and Hunter Potthoff; Brooke (Kyle) Teel, Ashley, Isabella and Zackary Ryan; and Dylan and Hadyn Blume; great-grandchildren, Henleigh, Nora and baby Teel, to be born in December, Bryce Fornoff, Holly Potthoff; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and a host of friends. She is also survived by her best friend puppy, Zoey.

 Memorials are being accepted in Florence’s name and will be used to continue her support of youth activities in the area.

 Visitation will be Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home, McCook, from 2 to 8 p.m.  The family will greet friends from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

 Funeral services will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m., at Peace Lutheran Church, McCook, with Pastor David Kahle officiating. 

 Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery, McCook.

 Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook has been entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit our website at www.carpenterbreland.com to sign our online guestbook for the family.

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