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1501 W. Lexington Ave.
Independence, MO 64052
Phone: 816-252-7900
Irene Ratchford

Irene Mary Ratchford (Soetaert)

Wednesday, October 7th, 1931 - Sunday, February 3rd, 2019
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Irene Mary (Soetaert) Van Compernolle Ratchford, 87, Independence, MO passed away Feb. 3, 2019. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 am, Friday, Feb. 8 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 2200 N. Blue Mills Rd., Independence, MO 64058; interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Rosary will be at 5:30 pm, Thursday followed by visitation from 6-8 pm at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St., Independence, MO 64055. The family requests contributions to One Community Hospice, 1415 W. White Oak, Independence, MO 64050.
Irene was born Oct. 7, 1931 to Peter and Julma (Corteville) Soetaert in Kansas City, MO. She began her career at Garrett-Homes Produce and was named “The Tomato Queen” appearing on billboards showcasing her company’s produce. She then went on to work at Manor Bakery and eventually retired from Robinson Potato Supply. In her early days, she raced cars a on dirt track in Riverside, MO and won the 1955 Women’s Championship. She also played volleyball, softball, water-skied, snow skied, gardened and mowed twelve acres on a tractor keeping it looking like a golf course. Irene had the biggest heart and will be missed immensely by many.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Ralph Van Compernolle, and Mike Ratchford; brother Albert Soetaert, nephew Moras Soetaert, sister Margaret Umphenour and Mary Landram. She is survived by
daughter Debbie Conway and husband Ron; grandsons Danny and Matthew Conway; brother Moras Soetaert and wife Hazel; sister-in-law Pollie Soetaert and many nieces, nephews and friends.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, February 7th, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Speaks Suburban Chapel
    18020 E. 39th St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rosary at 5:30 pm, before the visitation at the chapel.
  • Service

    Friday, February 8th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Friday, February 8th, 2019 10:00am
    St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church
  • Interment

    Mt Olivet Cemetery
    Raytown, MO 64133


Donations are being accepted for: One Community Hospice.

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Kenny Horvatic

Posted at 05:31pm
Working with Ms. Irene at Robinson’s Potato Supply always made the day brighter. Her peaceful attitude was catching; her deep, smiling eyes and good heart could remedy the blues and add frosting to the sweetest times. Irene easily put in twelve sultry hours without whining. For some time she enjoyed great celebrity by taking her lunch with the youngest truck driver, who consequentially gloried in the schoolyard stardom of relaxing with food in her company. Everyone knew they were just friends, but the catcalls still came as the pair strolled across that gravel lot to the dock door, cowboy boots and tiny sneakers. Irene would grin and wave; her escort holding his head high for good cause. What a gift to have known her. Debbie and all, may the Spirit help ease your aching hearts.

Randy & Lynn Lane

Posted at 10:45am

We are so very sorry to hear the loss of your mom. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. Best of everything to you and your family.
Randy & Lynn Lane

Stacy graham

Posted at 12:37am

Love and sympathy to Debbie Ronnie Danny and Matthew. Irene was such a sweet and loving lady. And such a hard worker. You were all wonderful to her and i hope you take comfort in that. I have many memories of her through the years. One recent 1 was her high kicks at the nursing home, in the wheel chair and out. She was adorable. I will miss her very very much.

Posted at 06:19pm
Irene and Mike were my next door neighbors for many years with Debbie and Ron my back neighbors. What a precious family and friends to us. I miss those chats that took place in each other's homes or over the fence but memories I will cherish. Irene was one of the hardest working women I knew. Her home and yard always reflected her work ethic and she was always there with a kind word, smile, or something to share. I'm a better person having her in my life when I was a young mother and wife. Sending love and hugs to Debbie, Ron, Danny and Matt. What a special gift she was!

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