Eric Rathjen 1929-2023
On Thursday, 6 July, Eric Rathjen, former Lutheran School leader died after a very short illness in the Loxton hospital. He was 93 years old.
He completed all his schooling in Lutheran schools; his primary days at Cambrai Lutheran School and then secondary years at Concordia College, Adelaide.
Eric’s career in Lutheran Schools spanned six decades, his first posting being in 1948 and retiring in the mid-nineties.
His first job as a fully trained teacher was at the Koonibba Lutheran Mission near Ceduna. Eric subsequently served in Henty NSW, Maitland SA, Nhill Vic and Loxton SA. In most of these schools he shouldered a significant teaching load along with the ever-increasing administration required. He worked in seven schools in four states and started three schools. Overall, he served in Lutheran Schools for forty-six years, in which he was principal for all but one term. After retirement he continued his interest in Lutheran schools as an active member of OWLS (past leaders within Lutheran learning communities association).
Eric sought to actively involve himself in his church and the local communities in which he lived, and as an example, was a volunteer St John’s ambulance officer for over twenty-five years during his teaching career.
Above all, Eric was a man of God. He saw serving in our schools as a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with every person who stepped onto the school campus. He always believed that he was His child, loved and redeemed by Jesus. He cherished the amazing grace he received from the Father and lived accordingly. He lived a life of humble gratitude and worship, and this was evident in how he taught, loved, treated and served those around him. He was a truly kind and gentle man.
Eric is survived by his wife, Lois (aged 95), five children and their partners, nineteen grandchildren and thirty-one great-grandchildren.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9
(Information supplied by Mark Rathjen)
Eric’s funeral was held in Loxton on Monday 24th July.