Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elroy Ratzlaff - He is with Jesus

September 2009, Brenda Larsen Cohorn and Elroy Ratzlaff

I went to high school in Meno, OK at Oklahoma Bible Academy. The campus is now in Enid but when I attended, it was in Meno and there were many of us that lived in the dorm and we had students attend from many states.

It was a wonderful four years for me. I thoroughly enjoyed high school. 

The teachers were wonderful dedicated men and women. They were all Godly people and they were committed to young people. Many of my fond memories include Elroy Ratzlaff. He was the Superintendent and was of course in charge of making sure all ran smoothly. Not just "school" but the dorms as well.

Mr. and Mrs. Ratzlaff lived in a mobile home the school provided for them on campus. Now that I'm an adult I realize how much they actually sacrificed in living there. At the time - it was just normal. You know, the way it should be!

I was very close to their family and they helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. Even though my memories of high school are very good, I faced some of the worst challenges in my life during high school. Because of the Ratzlaff's concern, understanding, and example I was able to gain an understanding of leaning completely on my God. - this training has been with me all of my adult life and has given me strength and courage to be who God intends for me to be. 

I get so frustrated at the amount of "victims" I see - hear in these times. Because of the training I received from this wonderful couple when I easily could have become a "victim', I  never did. Because of their example and guidance  I am a survivor. an over-comer, I am a Christian.

 Mr. and Mrs. Ratzlaff

I heard this morning that Mr. Ratzlaff died yesterday. He is rejoicing and having such a grand ol' time in heaven! I'm so happy for him but yet sad for his family and all those who love him dearly.

When I first thought about writing a tribute to him here, on my blog, I really had planned on doing a re-cap of his life. But other than seeing him only two times since my graduation in 1971, I haven't really kept up with him. In 2009 I called them to invite them to a reunion we were planning for OBA. I had a wonderful wonderful conversation with both of them on the phone that I will cherish for the rest of my life. - Again after 38 years, they ministered to me when I was going through the second most challenging trial of my life. 

There is a quote that says: "Those truly linked don't need correspondence. When they meet again after many years apart, their friendship is as true as ever."

That was proven true in 2009 when Irma answered the phone when I called them. She was so excited to hear from me and immediately got ElRoy on the extension and the three of us talked for more than an hour. It was a glorious blessing for me.

I know that many many people have tributes for ElRoy Ratzlaff. However, the most important tribute to me, is the care and training he gave to a hurting - scared 15 year old girl.

To his family - You are in my prayers.

Thank you for being a faithful servant Mr. Ratzlaff.
He is with Jesus.


1 comment:

  1. Good job Brenda. You hit it exactly for me too. I was so glad to be able to see the Ratzlaff's again in August, 2011. He was a great man.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    OBA has started the Elroy Ratzlaff Endowment Fund in memory of Elroy. The family will decide what the fund can be used for, but this endowment will go on forever in memory of such a wonderful man.
    Kris Ediger