[singlepic id=51 w=320 h=240 float=left]Over the last 2 years or so I have devoted this website to relaying stories of my ancestors and preserving these stories for my kids.  But the fondest memories I have are those my kids themselves have provided over the years.  26 years ago tomorrow, my journey as a father began with the blessing of my daughter Elizabeth Nathalia Rathkamp.  Betsie was the first girl to join our branch of the Rathkamp family in 68 years, my grandfather’s sister Anne having been born in 1916.

Even in the darkest depths of Alzheimer’s, my “Granny Pat” was thrilled with Betsie’s birth and couldn’t believe the curse of the Rathkamp hooligans had ended.[singlepic id=50 w=320 h=240 float=right]

I have watched with pride as Betsie has grown to be a very remarkable woman.  Even though it would please my ego to take credit for the way she has turned out, the truth is that she is what makes Betsie the way she is.  She is sensitive, yet incredibly strong.  She is open-minded, but is also very firm in her beliefs.  She is mature for her age, but doesn’t take herself too seriously and is rarely seen without her infectious smile.  She is very goal and career oriented, and her clients are as loyal to her as she is to them.

This past year, she took a major step in her life by buying her own home.  She had been looking at condos in the ‘burbs and had even been close to closing on one.  But in the end, she found a house that suited her personality to a tee in the city.  Recently, she has been volunteering her time with Madacc in Milwaukee.  She has much of herself to give, and these animals will all want to go home with her.

Betsie, I’m so proud of you.  Have a very Happy Birthday.



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