Harold Eugene Rathbun

March 18, 1929 ~ October 21, 2022 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Harold Rathbun Obituary

Harold Rathbun went to meet his Lord and Savior on October 21, 2022.  Born in Independence, Kansas, on March 18, 1929, Harold was raised in Sedan, Kansas, by his parents, Orva, a farmer and oil-field worker, and Vera, a nurse.  He graduated from Sedan High School, where he lettered in baseball, basketball, and football.

After high school, Harold enlisted in the Army Air Forces, serving in occupied Japan and rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant.  After leaving the Air Force, he attended Kansas State College (now University) on the G.I. Bill.  At the Baptist youth group there he met his future wife, Alice Mae Baker.  They were married on September 2, 1951, and set up housekeeping in Manhattan, Kansas, while he finished his degree in Agricultural Engineering.

Upon graduation in 1953, Harold went to work for Caterpillar Tractor Company as a test engineer.  Work kept him and his young family on the move: to Illinois, Oregon, and back to Illinois again.  After several years Harold moved to General Dynamics, working on Atlas missiles in Kansas, California, and Kansas again.  In the fall of 1964, the family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, as Harold began work for Boeing as a test engineer on the first stage of the Saturn V rocket as part of the Apollo moon-landing program.  Upon completion of the lunar missions, the family moved to Bellevue, Washington, in January, 1973, where Harold continued to work for Boeing on several aerospace programs.  He retired May 1, 1991.

Harold was an involved father, reading to his children and taking them fishing, teaching them sports and attending their games. He was active in the Baptist church for more than 50 years as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, choir member, and soloist.  Over the years he enjoyed fishing, playing softball, golfing, and attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.

Preceding Harold in death were his parents, older brother Bob, sister-in-law Donna, eldest son Ron, and daughter Janine. 

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Alice, of Kent, Washington, his sons Richard (Beth) Rathbun of Mount Vernon, Washington, Robin Rathbun of Kent, Washington, Randy (Carolyn) Schultz-Rathbun of Hockinson, Washington, and Roger (Lisa) Rathbun of Bothell, Washington, nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

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