Arnold Raatz

Arnold Raatz



Arnold Raatz, age 87, passed away on Monday, April 23, 2018 at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union, Iowa. 

Arnold was born to Henry and Zelma (Pike) Raatz on June 16, 1930. He lived in the home he was born in for 83 years in rural Hawkeye, where he was a dairy farmer.

He married Shirley Boleyn on Jan. 26, 1951, and they had four children.

In 1991, he had a stroke that forced him to retire from farming. Arnold and Shirley moved to West Union in July 2012.

Arnold was a natural on the dance floor and would sing along with Hank Williams, Jim Reeves and his other favorite country-western artists. 

Though sometimes he had a gruff exterior, he was a true softy at heart. This was evident when he shed big tears for a winner on “Wheel of Fortune” or after hearing of a friend's hardship.

For the last four years, the residents of Good Samaritan Society – West Union have been serenaded with his whistling. He also enjoyed saving the quarters he won from bingo in hopes of blessing his family with a pizza party.  

Arnold had quite the sweet tooth, even though he was diabetic, and his enormous hidden stash of candy and empty wrappers were discovered after his death. His ways of acquiring such sweets now makes us smile.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley; children Debbie (Leo) Keigher of Minooka, Ill., Becky (Tom) Vaassen of Lancaster, Wis., Tom (Marcine) Raatz of Polk City, Iowa, Jim (Mary) Raatz of Clermont, Iowa; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; his sisters, Lola Lang of Springville, Iowa, Iva Yeates of Arlington, Texas, and Marlyn Davidson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; his brother-in-law, William Davidson; plus many nieces and nephews.

Arnold was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws Clarence and Sally Boleyn; sister Donna Bachman; brothers-in-law Keith Gaskill, LaVern Bachman, Martin Lang, and Austin Yeates.

A memorial service was held on Monday, April 30, 2018, at the West Union Events Center. 

Interment will be at the Hawkeye Cemetery at a later date with immediate family members. 

In lieu of flowers, all memorials may be directed to the family of Arnold Raatz, 703 N. Pine St., West Union, IA 52175 and will be used for community outreach.

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