Phebe Helen Esther (Etterman) Ratzlaff was born May 11, 1930, at the Penner farm in Waterloo Township, Cavalier County, ND. She was the 7th of 12 children born to Adolf “AG” Etterman and Annie (Penner) Etterman. Growing up, she spent most of her time traveling with her family as her father was a traveling evangelistic minister who founded the Church of God of the Firstborn in 1937, currently headquartered in Newton, Kansas. They traveled from North Dakota to Texas with numerous stops at his churches, returning to Edinburg, ND, for the summers.
She married Paul Ratzlaff on June 20, 1953, at the Bethel Mennonite Church in rural Langdon, ND. They made their home in Moscow Township where they farmed and raised their four sons. In 1973, Paul and Phebe built a new house on the farm, and in 2000, they moved to Langdon.
Phebe was an avid crafter. She took pride in making afghans, quilts, or anything with a needle and thread. Very few flea markets opened their doors without her table set up. She enjoyed gardening, and the garden cellar was never empty of preserved goods. Playing cards and other games with all her family and friends was a large part of her life. She especially enjoyed her game days with her lady friends after moving to Langdon. She also volunteered for many years with the American Cancer Society and the Legion Auxiliary.
She is survived by three sons: Jerry (Nancy) Ratzlaff of Devils Lake, ND; Steven (Denise) Ratzlaff of Wales, ND; Michael (Tara) Ratzlaff of Lake Bronson, MN; grandchildren: Wolfgang and Annie of Tacoma, WA, Dustin and Brock of Devils Lake, ND, Krystal of Fargo, ND, and Serena of Grand Forks, ND; great-grandchildren: August and Olive of Tacoma, WA; three brothers: Paul (Marie) Etterman, James (Karen) Etterman, Simon “Pete” (Delores) Etterman; one sister, Annie (Leonard) Bergley; one sister-in-law, Eileen (Richard) Etterman; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Paul; parents AG and Annie Etterman; son Douglas; granddaughter Ashley; three brothers: Edwin (Irene) Etterman, Herb (Anna) Etterman, and Richard (Eileen) Etterman and two brothers in infancy: Arthur and Philip; and two sisters: Gertrude (Walter) Wellman and Ruth (Ronald) Steen.
Phebe Ratzlaff, 93, of Langdon, ND, passed away Friday, June 23, 2023, at her home in Langdon surrounded by her loving sons.
A funeral service will be held Friday, June 30, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. at Brooks Funeral Home in Langdon. Visitation will be held for one hour before the time of service. Burial will be at Bethel Cemetery, rural Langdon.
The family requests memorials be designated to the Cavalier County Cancer Crusaders.
Flowers are available at Junque Décor in Langdon 701-370-2639 or Nature's Best in Walhalla 701-549-3611.