The Rattenne Family

The Rattenne's are not a big clan. The California Rattennes (along with the Kansas and Colorado Rattennes) originate from Sioux City, IA. Born to Michael II and Hazel Lamphire, they originally were a family of three boys and two girls. All three brothers married, along with sister Gerry; sister Jean died at age 16 from a brain tumor.

Eventually two of the brothers and a sister found their way to California, though youngest brother Jim eventually settled in Colorado and middle son Mike in Kansas. In fact, as of 2012  Mike still owns the Round Tuit Ranch and actively works on it. 

Background on the Rattenne Name

The Rattenne family name is very unique! My preliminary research of our family name yields only one other family branch in the entire United States - and it appears that they are not directly related to our clan. That clan is based on the East Coast - New Jersey to be specific. 

After contacting one of the East Coast Rattenne's via email I discovered that they were not originally "Rattenne", but rather Rattenni." Sean Rattenne explained to me that when his grandfather emigrated to the U.S. in the early part of the 20th Century he discovered that his American relatives had strong ties with organized crime. Wanting none of it, the grandfather changed the last letter from an "i" to an "e."

While I viewed this information as a dead end for my research, I recently re-interviewed my mother about the Rattenne name. She told me that my Dad (Donald) had said that in Europe, our furthest back relative, Mickey Rattenne, had actually been Mickey Rattenni! Apparently, by the time he received his immigration papers he was a Rattenne.

So that dead end may not be one after all.


How do you pronounce our name? Well, it's of French extraction:

  • If you are French you would no doubt pronounce our name as "Ra-ten".
  • Ken, like his father Don, pronounces it "Ratt'-een"
  • Other family members pronounce it "Ra'-teen"
  • One of the Kansas clan used to pronounce it "Rat-en-nay" but she was attending medical school at the time and was obviously attempting an image change! (We don't know if she reverted to the more traditional pronunciation or not). And now we have word that another of the Kansas clan has adopted that same pronunciation.

The California Rattennes

Today, only one brother of original Sioux City clan survive. Family branches are in California and in Kansas. The California Rattenne's consist of the following:
  • Donald Clair Rattenne of San Jose - the patriarch of the Rattenne family until his death in 1996.
  • Jayne Houfek-Rattenne - "The Mom"
  • Ken Rattenne - eldest son
  • Karen Mosca - middle child and only "girl"
  • Dennis Mosca - Karen's husband (1949-2003)
  • Kirk Rattenne - ten years younger, completing the set!
  • Marlene Rattenne -Kirk's wife
  • Emily - middle child
  • Daniel - the baby.
Email the Ken Rattenne at

Rattenne Family Home Page