Ethel  Rathbone

Obituary of Ethel Marian Rathbone


10/15/24 - 3/15/21

Ethel Marian Rathbone (nee Rawling), Puyallup, passed away peacefully at home on March 15, 2021 after a brief illness following 96 years of remarkable health. The lung cancer node on her lungs disappeared (thank you to all who prayed!), but congestive heart failure won the final challenge.

She was born October 15, 1924 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Ralph Emerson and Marion (Miller) Rawling. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Harry, husband Richard R Rathbone, and grandson Louis Taylor McCabe IV.

Surviving are her children, Diane L Tveten (John), Elaine M Hopkins (Bruce), Thomas E Rathbone (Debi), and David Rathbone (Shannon), and nephew David Rawling (Yoshi) whom she helped raise and considered another son.

Surviving grandchildren are Eric Emerson McCabe, Tanna Marie Hulse, Robin Christina Piatt, Thomas E (III) Rathbone, Christopher Lee Rathbone, and Addie Rathbone.

Great grandchildren are Louis Taylor McCabe V, Ryan Emerson McCabe, Hailey Danielle McCabe, Aaron Capps, Alexander Thomas McMahan, Kye William Lee Kunz, Kiara Renee Raymer, Katelyn Renee Rathbone, Karin Marie Rathbone, Kristina Grace Rathbone, and Ehryn Thomson.

Great great grandchildren are Hunter Andrew Rathbone, Kayla Marie Rathbone, Aiden Lee Rathbone, Arula Grace Myking, Layla Ann McCabe, and Haydon Capps.

Ethel graduated from Maj. Howard W. Beal Memorial High School in Shrewsbury, MA. She met her husband when he was stationed at Fort Devin prior to his deployment in WWII. After the war, they married and made their home in Shrewsbury for 10 years. Richard was homesick for the west coast, so in 1958 Richard and Ethel packed their two girls, baby boy and parakeet in the car and headed to Washington state in search of better opportunities. After a year in Parkland, in 1960, they bought a home on five acres in Puyallup. Puyallup was home ever after.

She was a working mom, retiring from her career life as a purchasing agent and scheduler for Nalley’s Fine Foods in Tacoma.

Ethel was a wonderful mother, the stalwart of the family, but always had time for family and fun. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for her girls’ troops, and instilled in them her love for reading and gardening. She was well known as an avid, expert quilter, which she enjoyed  for many years with her friends. She was a member of The Order of the Amaranth, a fraternal and philanthropic organization, and she held many offices, including serving as Grand Marshall, Assistant Grand Lecturer, Grand Representative (to several states), and Grand Lady of the Square. For over 22 years Ethel was the brainstormer for many fund raising projects through her local court to raise money for Diabetes Research, such as hosting Mystery Dinners, putting on skits (which she helped write and perform) organized sales of Christmas wreaths and grave markers, and, handmade Dammit Dolls, to name a few.

Her sewing skills and scrap quilting material also led to everyone’s favorite product, “mini purses,” which became a successful small side business even into her last Christmas. Ethel also enjoyed serving her church and community through programs like feeding the homeless, and holiday festivities like making wreaths, and telling the Christmas story to the young children at church.

Ethel was a really an excellent example of a good woman and great mom. She always accepted her children’s significant others and friends as family, and her heart and home was always open for some who may have needed to stay for a while. In times of emotional difficulty, she rarely got angry, instead listened and either personally dealt with, or offered support and advice in her loving, yet practical, non-judgemental way. That was priceless and very rare, even for a mom.

She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends who take comfort knowing she is home with the Lord.  

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Ethel
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Service
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