Rob "Rat" Ratashak(1958 - 2014)

Rob "Rat" Ratashak


Rob "Rat" Ratashak, 55, passed away Friday, July 11, 2014 doing what he loved.

Born December 16, 1958 in San Rafael, California, Rob was the son of George and Shirley (Knight) Ratashak.

Rob grew up and received his education in Ames, graduated from Ames High School and spent most of his free time in his mother's garage restoring or "driving" his notorious red 1967 Chevelle .

After high school, Rob worked in Ames and then served in the Navy during the early 1980's. Upon discharge from the Navy, Rob worked as a Systems Analyst for the Navy in San Diego, California. Returning to Iowa in 1996, he worked for Sunstrand and then moved on to Amcor Rigid Plastic (formally Ball Plastics) where he was employed for several years. Most recently Rob was a member of the NRA, Iowa Firearms Coalition, ABATE, and the American Legion Riders, Post 737.

On September 16, 1994, Rob was united in marriage to LouAnn Downor. Rob loved to be on his motorcycle whether it was around town or across the state, he was an avid gun collector and passionately supported the Cyclones. Rob could be opinionated at times but Rob was fiercely loyal to the things he believed in and those he loved.

Survivors include his wife of 19 years, LouAnn (Downor); sister, Rhonda (Todd) Kibsgaard; niece, Robyn Kibsgaard; nephew, Jerrad Kibsgaard and several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His Pennsylvania family includes a step-daughter, Shatae Tarbell, father and mother-in-law, Anthony and Donna Downor; brother-in-law, Troy Downor; sisters-in-law, Tonette Diffenbacher, Starr Belden and Sheriee Downer; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Shirley; brother Jergan and his beloved dog Amber.

A private family burial will take place at the Ames Municipal Cemetery. There will be a Celebration of Life gathering beginning at noon on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Tip-Top Lounge on Lincoln Way in Ames. All family and friends are encouraged to stop by that afternoon and feel free to wear their favorite Harley-Davidson or Cyclone attire in memory of Rob.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family. Online condolences and memories may be shared on Rob's page at

Funeral Home

Stevens Memorial Chapel
607 28th Street Ames, IA 50010
(515) 232-5473

Published in Des Moines Register on July 16, 2014