James William Rathe, MD


1928 - 2016

Waverly Rail Trail

2003 Everglades Trip


James William Rathe, MD, of Waverly, Iowa, died on November 12, 2016 at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Center in Waverly.

James was born on October 7, 1928, in Waverly, Iowa, the son of Dr. Herbert William Rathe and Dorothy (Young) Rathe. James grew up in Waverly, attending Waverly schools through 10th grade, and graduated from high school at Shattuck School in 1946. Following graduation, he attended Carleton College from 1946 to 1950. In 1950, he entered College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, in New York City, and graduated in 1954 with a medical doctorate degree. On June 11, 1954, James was united in marriage to Evelyn Hamrick in Clendenin, West Virginia. The couple made their home in New York City until 1956, where James completed two years of residency training. In 1956 he entered the Army Medical Corps and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. Following Jim's honorable discharge in 1958, the two moved to Iowa City where Jim completed his Internal Medicine training. In 1960, Dr. Rathe began his career in Waverly as a physician at the Rohlf Memorial Clinic. He was an outstanding physician, who was loved and respected by the families he cared for. He retired in 1996.

James was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. He served as president of the Waverly Rail Trail Committee at its inception. James and Evelyn co-chaired a Cedar Valley initiative raising more than $1 million for the Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center. In 2006 Jim and Evelyn received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Waverly Chamber of Commerce, and were recognized in the Waverly Heritage Days Hall of Fame. They both were very active supporters of Wartburg College and were honored with the Wartburg Medal in 2010. He was a board member and past president of the Iowa Heart Association, served on the boards of the Iowa Clinical Medical Society, the Wartburg/Waverly Symphony, and the Bartels Lutheran Home. Not only was James a good citizen and physician, but also a loving husband and father.



James is survived by his three children, Dr. Laura Rathe of Brainerd, Minnesota, Dr. David (Peggy) Rathe of Waverly, and Dr. Ann Rathe of Waverly; four grandchildren, Sam, Emma, James (Chelsea) and Leah; one great grandson, Avery; and sister Katherine Clifton of Iowa City. He was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn, his brother John, and his parents.


Produced with Love by His Nephew Richard Rathe