February 6, 2020
Dixie Lee Raatz, 84, of Lincoln, Neb., formerly of Chester,died Jan. 29, 2020.
Dixie Lee Wessel was born on July 11, 1935, to James and Florence (DeWald) Wessel, on a farm in Republic County Kansas. Dixie had one sister, Rozann. Dixie loved life on the farm and her many pets.
She graduated from Chester High School, with the class of 1953 and received her normal training certificate. She started teaching in a one room schoolhouse outside of Byron, while attending Peru State College. Dixie continued taking education classes, until she received her bachelor’s degree in education from Peru State College, in 1977.
Dixie was a teacher in the Byron area, for 47 years, primarily in third and fourth grade. Dixie’s students and their families were important to her and they became life-long friends. Dixie retired from teaching in May 2000.
Dixie met the love of her life, Martin Raatz, when she was 15 years old.
Mart and Dixie were married at the Fairbury Lutheran Church on March 30, 1957. The marriage was blessed with two sons, Lonnie and Russell.
Dixie and Mart enjoyed going to antique sales and collecting antiques. They opened an antique store in Chester, called Raatz Antiques. They also enjoyed traveling and going to antique shows, where they met many friends. Dixiehad a passion for sewing and crafts, which she passed down to her granddaughters. Although Dixie had a variety of interests, she had the most joy with her family.
Dixie was preceded in death by her husband, Martin, and son, Lonnie.
She is survived by her son, Russ and wife, Michele, of Lincoln, Neb.,
daughter-in-law, Brenda Raatz, of Aurora, Ill., sister, Rozann Campbell and husband, Jim, of Vancouver, Wash., grandchildren, Derek Raatz of Oak Park, Ill., Ashley Cole and husband, Brett, of Sycamore, Ill., Nicole Lickei and Matt, of Olathe, Kan. and Connor Raatz of Lincoln, Neb., great-grandchildren, Camila Raatz, Martin Raatz, Grant Cole and Ryker Cole.
Graveside service was held Feb. 1, at the Chester Cemetery. Officiant was Pastor Robert Hopkins.
Honorary casket bearers were grandchildren.