Elsie Ratkovich Last
November 3, 1924 – June 7, 2018
Elsie Ratkovich Last LAST, Elsie Ratkovich
Elsie Ratkovich Last, 93, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 7th at her home in Banning, California after a 6 month battle with cancer.
Born November 3, 1924 in Bisbee, Arizona, at the age of 6 her family moved to Southern California where she grew up in the town of South Gate.
Elsie attended South Gate High School where she graduated in 1941 after serving as class President. Around 1979 she went back to school and later went on to achieve her AA at San Marcos College while attending day and night classes.
While living in Alhambra with family, Elsie met her future husband Neil in November 1950. After a quick romance, they tied the knot on April 15, 1951. This unbreakable bond resulted in 62 years of marriage.
During this same period, Neil was called back by the Army which resulted in both Neil and his new bride, Elsie moving to an army post about 90 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska. Called the Big Delta then, it is now known as Fort Greely. They lived for two years in a small trailer where Dr. Neil was responsible for a 10 bed dispensary and Elsie worked in the Army commissary.
In 1953, after Neil was discharged, Elsie and Neil then moved to San Francisco where he took up a residency at St. Mary’s and she worked odd jobs to fill the gap.
Finally in July 1956, Elsie and Neil returned to Southern California and family from both sides. This opened the door for Neil to open his own practice in Pasadena, CA. As usual, Mom was firmly at his side as she provided administrative skills in the office.
In March 1977, Neil retired from practice and with that, Mom and Dad took up avocado farming in and around Valley Center. Around 1979 Elsie went back to school and later went on to achieve her AA at San Marcos College while attending day and night classes. A feat she was greatly proud of.
Elsie had three careers other than assisting Dad in his medical practice. Her first real job was working as an Executive Assistant for a Vice President at Pacific Iron and Steel. That was followed by 25 plus years working on a part time basis as a successful Real Estate Broker in the Pasadena area and later in Valley Center. Her key was to focus on building client relationships which often turned into personal friendships. But she would tell you that her third career was most meaningful to her and that was to be a Wife, Mother and Grandmother. She truly was an Angel from Heaven. Dad and I knew we were blessed to have someone like her in our lives.
Elsie loved to dance, cook, bake and entertain. She enjoyed card games, dominos and reading. But most important to Elsie was family, friends and putting “everyone” else ahead of herself.
She leaves her son, Dale Last and his wife, Cleo; her granddaughters, Athena and Breana; her sister/brother in law, JoJo R./Francis McHugh; and brother/sister in law, Wayne Ratkovich/JoAnne; nieces, nephews and many close friends. She is preceded into the afterlife by her parents, Tom and Katie Ratkovich; her brothers/wives Steve/Carm Ratkovich and Leo/Eleanor Ratkovich; her sister/husband Bessie R./Herbert Ball.
As a mother, Grandmother (Baba) and friend, she was loved by many and will be greatly missed. But we are blessed in knowing that she is now free from pain and in Heaven with Dad, family and friends.
1177 Beaumont Ave.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Community
1234 Palm Ave
Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Blvd
Elsie Ratkovich Last
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June 12, 2018
We are so blessed to have known this beautiful lady. Elsie always had a smile on her face and such a joy for life, but most of all a thirst for knowledge and love of books. We can only pray to reach her age and be as sharp as she was. Thank you Elsie it was an honor to know you❤️ God has a special place for you in heaven. Love, Don & Laura