Don Rattenne
In Memorium

Don, Karen and Jayne party-down in Reno, Nevada in the summer of 1995. (Dennis Mosca Photo)
Jayne & Don - 1981

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On March 3, 1996, Donald Clair Rattenne, the patriarch of the Rattenne family, passed away at age 73 in San Jose, CA, due to complications from emergency surgery.

Don was known for his intense love for his one and only wife Jayne; Don and Jayne were married a total of 48 and a half years, and were still in love! Don also had an undying loyalty to his family. When the chips were down, Don was there in whatever capacity was needed. 

But the most remarkable thing about this man was in a time when the fabric of our society is unraveling at an ever increasing rate it was comforting to know that some men still valued trust and honesty: Don was a shining example of those qualities. Anyone who knew him would tell you he talked the talk, but he also walked the walk. 

I will miss my father. 

- Kenneth Paul Rattenne


 Baby Don and mother Hazel, Leeds, IA
(click photo to enlarge)


Don's Eulogy was written by his son, Kirk, and was read at Don's funeral on March 8, 1996 by the late Lyman Houfek, wife Jayne's brother.

Don, in his MSTS uniform, circa 1964. He served as a Chief Engineer on a number of  vessels between 1964 and 1972. More on Don's maritime career

Letter to Dad

Throughout my life you have been my hero. When I was a child, you would take me on tours of the ships. You showed me how to take my first shower. You were my hero when you saved a man's life and when you helped a man walk on the moon.

When I was a teenager, you and I went deep sea fishing and you helped me to get through the seasickness that day. I remember when you drove me to my first Grateful Dead concert. I remember working together in the garage, butchering the steer I had raised. I remember when you built an electric car and actually drove it around the block. You even bought me my first truck so I could go off to college 

Don, with his award winning spaghetti sauce (click to enlarge)

As an adult, you have always been there for me, helping me get through rough times. You have shown me, by example, how to be a man and a loving husband. Dad, you will always be my hero, even in death. You have shown me how to live and die with strength, courage and with unending faith.

Throughout your life, you served God, your country and your family with honor, and for that you will always be my hero.


Kirk Rattenne

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