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home : obituaries : obituaries May 2, 2016

10/19/2012 8:00:00 AM
Wilodean Rakestraw
July 19, 1924 - Oct. 17, 2012
Wilodean Rakestraw
Wilodean Rakestraw

Wilodean "Billie" Rakestraw, 88, Wynnfield Crossing, Rochester, passed away at 1 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 17, 2012 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne.

She was born on July 19, 1924 in Wabash, the daughter of Claude W. and Eva Virginia (Kessler) Weimer.

On Dec. 25, 1943 in Wabash County, she married Frederick E. Rakestraw. He preceded her in death on Aug. 18, 2004.

Mrs. Rakestraw received her Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University. After many years of being a homemaker and raising her children, she went back to school, earning a Master's Degree from Indiana University.

Upon completion of her graduate work, she started her career as a science teacher at Rochester Middle School, that spanned twenty five years.

She was an active member of the First Christian Church, where she had been choir director. Billie had been a member of the Rochester Parks Board and the South Bend Audubon Society.

In her spare time, she was an avid bird watcher and appreciated classical music. She spent much time traveling across the country and world, sighting numerous species of birds and enjoying numerous concerts.

Survivors include her daughters, Carol J. and husband Randy Wolfe, Owensboro, Ky., Lynne and husband Michael Kidder, Frederick, Md.; sons, Paul D. Rakestraw, Boulder, Co., Mark R. and wife Lynn Rakestraw, Rochester, N.Y., and John and wife Marsha Rakestraw, Portland, Ore., Brazilian daughter, Sonia de Senna, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; eight grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; and special friend, Paul Davis, Rochester.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Paul K. Weimer.

Funeral service is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday Oct. 20, 2012 at First Christian Church, Rochester, with Rev. Mike VanHeyningen officiating.

Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, and one hour prior to service Saturday at the church.

Burial will be in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Rochester.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Christian Church or the donor's favorite charity.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Article comment by: joetta blackwood duncan

I am so sorry to learn of Billie's passing. I have many fond memories of your family as my Dad was the minister of the church there for over 10 years during my school days. My Mother, Doris Blackwood, just turned 98 yesterday & is in a home in Jeffersonville,IN. Her mind is about gone, so its sad to see her that way. I will always cherish these memories of your Mom & Dad.
Sincerely, Joetta Duncan

Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Article comment by: Sonia de Senna

I would like to send my love and sympathy to all my Rakestraw family who I take as my own. Billie, who I´ve always called Mom for being an exchange student at her house back in 1968/69, was always very sweet and very special to me for the last 42 years. Her passing away brought me deep sadness.

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