Delores R. "Babe" Rakestraw, 74, of Mineral, passed away courageously Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at her home surrounded by her children. A funeral service celebrating her life was held Wednesday, Feb. 20 at Vandemore Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Atkinson. The Rev. Terry Lancaster officiated. Burial was in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Atkinson. A visitation was held Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the funeral home. Memorials may be left to the Delores R. "Babe" Rakestraw Memorial Fund to be distributed among local organizations.
She was born on Dec. 1, 1938, in Kewanee, the daughter of Louis and Margaret (VanHecker) VanDamme. She married Russell E. Rakestraw on June 30, 1956, in Annawan. He died on Nov. 30, 1993. Babe was a homemaker and a full-time mom, raising her seven children with love and dedication. She enjoyed fishing, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards and reading. She was a very good cook and was well-known for her potato rolls. Babe loved following her family's sporting events and was the beloved commissioner and manager of "Babe's Baseball Team."
Survivors include three daughters, Renee (Rod) Jackson of Mineral, Rochelle (Audie) Sturtewagen of Annawan and Robin (Doug) Fairbanks of Annawan; three sons, Dan (Anita) Rakestraw of Geneseo, Darrin (Paula) Rakestraw of Loveland, Ohio, and Dain (Tammy) Rakestraw of East Peoria; one-son-in-law, Harry (Sonia) Heath of Neponset; her mother-in-law, Elma Rakestraw of Annawan; 21 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren with one more on the way; five brothers, Jerry (Julie) VanDamme of Annawan, Joe VanDamme of Prophetstown, Art (Doty) VanDamme of Atkinson, Hank (Rhonda) VanDamme of East Moline and Mark VanDamme of Kewanee. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; one daughter, Roxanne Heath in 1987; two brothers and one sister.