Sutton Memorial and McLaughlin Funeral Chapels /
Sutton Memorial and Mclaughlin Funeral Chapels

Arlene Elizabeth (Rath) Hanthorn

Jun. 10, 1922 - Apr. 11, 2019

Sutton resident Arlene E. Hanthorn, 96, passed away Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Henderson Community Hospital in Henderson, NE.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at the Stockham Community Church in Stockham, NE with Pastor Paul Nauman officiating. Graveside services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, at the Sutton Cemetery in Sutton, NE. Visitation will be Monday, from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Sutton Memorial Chapel in Sutton, NE.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Sutton Community Home Building Fund for new construction.

Arlene Elizabeth Rath was born June 10, 1922, on a farm in Fillmore County, Nebraska. She was third of the seven children of Adolphine (Griess) and Henry Rath. On October 8, 1943, she married Lindell Hanthorn of rural Nuckolls County. They lived briefly in California until Lindell retired from the U.S. Navy, then moved to Missouri, then to Lincoln Nebraska, finally settling on a small farm along the Big Blue River near Lushton. They raised corn and wheat and milo and alfalfa, dairy and beef cattle, hogs, chickens, and four daughters and one son.

Arlene attended the country school near her parents’ farm through eighth grade, then went to Sutton High School where she studied normal training to prepare for teaching her own country school right after graduation. She taught country schools in Fillmore and York counties, then moved to “town school” (Sutton Elementary School) for twenty years. She accumulated summertime and night class hours toward Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Nebraska.

Arlene’s life was filled with abundance and joy:
From climbing trees to planting trees to harvesting fruit to apple pies.
From setting up mobs of baby chickens in the brooder house to gathering the eggs and frying a chicken for Sunday dinner.
From finding the newborn calves to milking the cows, to gallons of cream in the icebox, to chocolate ice cream on Sunday night.
From art lessons in country school to the art lessons she taught, through her own painting, wood carving, and flower-planting and arranging.
She liked geography and history and traveling. She played Pinochle, then Pitch, then Bridge, and finally, Solitaire and Rummy.
She told folk tales. She checked out and bought and read books for her children and for her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren, and always for herself. She belonged to a book club.

The thread of religion through her life began with her baptism and confirmation at Hope Reformed Church in Sutton. From early prayers in German and attending church with her parents, through taking her own family to church, through reading her Bible every day, she was a happy and confident child of God.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her sisters Marion Rasmussen, Helen Smith and Iris Schmahl, and her brothers Robert and Thomas Rath.

She is survived by her sister, Virginia (Dale) Richards of Geneva, NE; sister-in-law, Leona Rath of Sutton, NE; children, Nancy Packard of Lincoln; Janine (Daryl) Downing of Joliet, Il; Kathryn (Merle) Schloff of Salisbury, VT; Mary (Bruce) Jensen of Ogallala; Lee (Melissa) Hanthorn of rural York County, and seventeen grandchildren and twenty-six great-grandchildren.
Her last years at the Sutton Community Home were years of happiness and contentment.



Apr. 17, 2019
Wanda Bergen Hartley
classmate of Janine

Janine and family,
I remember your mother fondly, from the time we were kids and when my mom was in the Sutton Community Home with her. It's hard to lose a mom, no matter how long a life she had. She set a good example for the rest of us.

Apr. 17, 2019
Huldah Sullivan
Former student

Mrs. Hanthorn was my 5th grade homeroom teacher. She made each student feel like they were important, at least that's how I remember it. She was supportive of her students who would be participating in the spelling bee, and read to us. The book that stands out is The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Every once in a while I am reminded of the story, which of course makes me think of that wonderful teacher who invested herself in her class. Occasionally she would make a reference to her family, and her love for you was very apparent.

My deepest sympathies on your loss. Prayers for your comfort and peace as you rejoice in a life well lived.

Apr. 14, 2019
Carol krause
Former student

I am do sorry for your loss. She was one of my favorite teachers. I still have my fifth grade class picture with her in it. Sending prayers

Apr. 13, 2019
Kay Wach Batt

Such a joy Arlene was in our times at the community Home / Assisted Living. She was always a participant in crafts, exercises, word games, and exercises. She was good natured and returned teases with laughter. How I already miss her and offer my prayers for the family! FH

Apr. 12, 2019
Mike Lambie

As an elementary student at Sutton, I always found Mrs. Hanrthorn be be a very kind and intelligent woman. An excellent example of a impactful guiding hand!

Apr. 12, 2019
Marilyn Campbell
Classmate of Kathy

My heart is broken Hanthorns. Such a great person. An other dear friend of mu Mother gone. Walks around the track, coffee and Garden Club were one joys with your Mom.

Apr. 12, 2019
Annette Hines Odvody
Friend of Melissa

Melissa and family , sorry for your loss. She sounds like a really nice woman. I wish I knew her. My prayers and thoughts.!!!! She will be missed but NOT forgotten.

Leave Your Condolences

Your Full Name:
  Please type this code below.