Dorothy M. Rathje


Dorothy Mae Rathje of Phoenix, AZ, formerly of Clinton, IA, passed away on August 6, 2019, from complications of a stroke. She was 88.
The daughter of the late Dr. F.E. Schoenbohm and Lillian (nee Hicks) Schoenbohm, Dorothy grew up in Elvira. After the family moved to Clinton, she graduated from Clinton High School. In 1946, barely 16 years old, she took the train by herself into Chicago to attend the Chicago Musical College. Concurrently, she became the church organist for her father's church, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Clinton, a position she held until she retired 50 years later.
In 1949 she met a sailor on a blind date. She and William Rathje were married on Easter Sunday in 1951, and welcomed their son Stuart William in 1959 and daughter Sandra Jane in 1961. While raising her family Dorothy was an accounting clerk at Lyons Pharmacy, president of the Clinton Junior Women's Club and taught dozens of private piano and organ students. An inveterate bridge player she was also involved in sewing, crafts and ceramics, and in her later years was an avid collector of Heisey glass.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Frederick Schoenbohm IV and sister-in-law Carol Schoenbohm of Blue Island, IL. She is survived by her husband Bill, son Stuart (Linda Packer) Rathje of Chicago, daughter Sandi Hansen of Phoenix, and grandchildren Brianna Hansen and Maxwell Hansen.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Zion Children's Music Ministry, 439 Third Avenue South, Clinton, IA 53732.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Snell-Zornig Funeral Homes and Crematory is honored to serve the Rathje family and online condolences may be expressed by visiting her obituary at
To plant a tree in memory of Dorothy M. Rathje, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on August 9, 2019
Plant a tree in memory
of Dorothy
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on November 07, 2019.

4 posts

Renee Castle
Aug 17, 2019
Doug and I are so very sorry for your loss
Julie (Naftzger) Luchtefeld
Aug 16, 2019
So very sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you and sending prayers.
Linda Garza. at Livestream NEC gh
Aug 11, 2019
Its been and Honor to have know Dorothy really enjoy her playing piano and singing melodies music songs it really filled the house with joy its been fun thank you for sharing Dorothy at gh85 and gh84 God Bless you all Linda
Sonja Boysen Mennenga
Aug 09, 2019
I have so many memories of times spent with this beautiful lady! She was my teacher and role model. All of my piano teaching success and pipe organ playing, I owe to Dorothy. She had such a keen style of playing which she instilled into her students! Thanks you Dorothy, for being such and important part of my life! You now are now singing and playing music with the angels in Heaven! My condolences. To Bill, Sandy, Stuart and grandchildren during this time of sorrow.