Robin Patrick Ratashak

December 16, 1958July 11, 2014
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Rob “Rat” Ratashak, 55, passed away Friday, July 11, 2014 doing what he loved. Born December 16, 1958 in San Rafael, California, Rob was the son of George and Shirley (Knight) Ratashak. Rob grew up and received his education in Ames, graduated from Ames High School and spent most of his free time in his mother’s garage restoring or “driving” his notorious red 1967 Chevelle .

After high school, Rob worked in Ames and then served in the Navy during the early 1980’s. Upon discharge from the Navy, Rob worked as a Systems Analyst for the Navy in San Diego, California. Returning to Iowa in 1996, he worked for Sunstrand and then moved on to Amcor Rigid Plastic (formally Ball Plastics) where he was employed for the several years. Most recently Rob was a member of the NRA, Iowa Firearms Coalition, ABATE, and the American Legion Riders, Post 737. On September 16, 1994, Rob was united in marriage to LouAnn Downor. Rob loved to be on his motorcycle whether it was around town or across the state, he was an avid gun collector and passionately supported the Cyclones. Rob could be opinionated at times but Rob was fiercely loyal to the things he believed in and those he loved.

Survivors include his wife of 19 years, LouAnn (Downor); sister, Rhonda (Todd) Kibsgaard; niece, Robyn Kibsgaard; nephew, Jerrad Kibsgaard and several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His Pennsylvania family includes a step-daughter, Shatae Tarbell, father and mother-in-law, Anthony and Donna Downor; brother-in-law, Troy Downor; sisters-in-law, Tonette Diffenbacher, Starr Belden and Sheriee Downer; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Shirley; brother Jergan and his beloved dog Amber.

A private family burial will take place at the Ames Municipal Cemetery. There will be a Celebration of Life gathering beginning at noon on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Tip-Top Lounge on Lincoln Way in Ames. All family and friends are encouraged to stop by that afternoon and feel free to wear their favorite Harley-Davidson or Cyclone attire in memory of Rob.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family. Online condolences and memories may be shared on Rob’s page at


  • Celebration of Life Thursday, July 17, 2014

Robin Patrick Ratashak

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Pam Black

July 18, 2014

I was saddened to hear of Rob's sudden death. The Ratashak family lived 2 houses from us on Melrose and were great friends to our family. Only God knows why he has taken both boys so young but now they are reunited. May those they left behind find comfort, especialy LuAnn and Rhonda.

July 17, 2014

I can't describe the loss I'm feeling at this moment....Rob, you were the best.....a true "Gent!" taught me so much.....things that I will carry with me for the rest of my thoughts and prayers go out to Rhonda and her family, along with your beautiful wife and family, as well....may you rest in Peace.....and may Christ be with you........Sincerely,.....Kathy(Kat)Myers(Ames, Ia.)

Katie Hiatt-Braasch

July 17, 2014

The class of '77 lost a memorable character. On the highway to heaven there are no red lights and no speed limit. Rob, drive as fast as you want. My blessings to your family!

Kathy Loftin

July 17, 2014

R.I.P. my friend, I will miss you very much, You Michael and Nathan ride free, I can only imagine what mischief you guys are getting in to.

Katherine Eaves

July 16, 2014

Thank you, Sir, for taking me under your wing for the last 8 years. For Mosin day and giving me courage to ride my bike in a Memorial Ride. For play boxing at work. For harassing me and teaching me and being patient with me. You will be missed by so many of us and you'll definately be missed by me. Thank you for being my friend.

Ranee Gill (Hansen)

July 16, 2014

I sure wish I could be there at the Tip Top.
I had the biggest crush on him in high school. I remember his Chevelle.
He was a really nice guy.
Rat = You will be missed and enjoy that fantastic racing in heaven.
Don't know why you passed, but you are no longer in pain dear friend..

Allison Lillis

July 16, 2014

R.I.P Rat,You are missed by many, but none of us will ever forget you! Thoughts and prayers to all of your family and friends.

Deb Black

July 16, 2014

My heart goes out to LuAnn and Rhonda. Words can't express how sorry I am for your loss. He will be missed by all who knew him but never forgotten.

Bob Kennedy

July 16, 2014

Rat you will be missed, R. I.P friend.....

Steven Shafer

July 16, 2014

Rob was a very good friend to me when I was young. He let me “help” work on his Chevelle, by help I mean he let me hang around and get in his way, but he never got angry, and always had patience and kind words. He inspired me to get my own car, a 57 Chevy, which he would lend a hand with whenever I needed it.
Many of my fondest childhood memories involve cars and Rob. I am sure many people will miss him; He was a good man, whom I always admired.