Ella L. Bobot was a strong woman in her own right, made all the more fervent by her love for God. She was hard working and dependable, caring and thoughtful. She poured herself into the responsibilities of career and family, friendships and spirituality. In many ways, her life grew more fulfilling over the years, and she met challenges with a spirit of joy and hope that are her legacy to those she held dear.
Ella Lavine was born August 30, 1944 in Crandon, Wisconsin, the third child of Porter and Laura (Foss) Ratliff. At that time, World War II dominated American life, and as men went off to war and women were drawn into the workplace, the nation pulled together to make life as good as possible for the next generation.
Despite the challenges of the times, Ella enjoyed a carefree childhood that included eight brothers and sisters (three other siblings having died very young): Donna, Al, Sylvia, Arlie, Dave, Roger, Everett and Linda. Growing up on a farm, Ella and her older siblings made sport of trapping gophers, and they helped tend the few animals—a cow, a horse and some pigs. Once, Ella was asked to watch over the pigs and ended up falling right into the pen. One animal story that was far more appealing was Ella’s dog. Buster, as he would be called, wandered onto the farm one day, and young Ella began making him her pet. Though Buster was considered the family dog, he and Ella were inseparable pals, and she could do anything with him—even ride him. She also liked active games such as tag and hopscotch and more serene playtime with her dolls.
As times changed, Ella’s father knew that he must move from being a logger to finding work that could sustain his family long term. So when Ella was 11, the family moved to Cudahy, Wisconsin, a few miles south of Milwaukee. Attending South Division High School in Milwaukee, Ella was involved in music, singing in the A-choir and a small group called the Cardinalaires. She and her younger sister Sylvia also sang in church, so it was little wonder that Ella developed musical talent. When she graduated in 1962, Ella was awarded honors in music as well as for her community involvement.
Having focused on stenography during her schooling, Ella was prepared for the work world. She was employed as a secretary for Ladish Company and later at Medusa Cement Company as lead secretary. Her skills and training gave her job opportunities that allowed her to be financially self-sufficient, a necessary advantage in years to come.
One day in 1964, Ella had a remarkable encounter with a young man named Eugene La Rue. They met at a restaurant, and ended up spending the entire day talking and drinking coffee. From that day, their relationship grew, and their ensuing marriage blessed their lives with two daughters, Michele and Sherri.
Though the marriage ended in divorce, Ella and her daughters were well provided for with her work at Medusa. She took her job very seriously, and was absolutely reliable. She always felt it was important to be places on time and was never late for work. Many times Ella was the person who opened the office, and she was able to fill in for her employer when the need arose, taking on many extra responsibilities.
While working for Medusa, Ella was introduced to Vince Bobot by his nephew Joe, who worked in the plant. They began dating in 1986, and as their lives grew closer, Ella believed she was getting a second chance at love. Since both Ella and Vince’s children were grown and living on their own, Ella moved to Delafield, Wisconsin, where they were married 1988. Ella truly enjoyed her life with her new love and best friend, Vince, and their dog, Teddy.
Sadly, Vince passed away in 2001, and soon after Ella considered selling her home in Delafield and moving closer to her daughters. Her younger daughter, Sherri, was engaged at the time and planning her wedding. Ella asked her older daughter, Michele to come live with her in a small home she had purchased in St. Francis, Wisconsin. There, Ella and Michele made up for lost time when they were apart, creating many wonderful memories together. Ella gained new members to her family, including her son-in-law John and two grandsons, Benjamin and Noah. She loved those boys and was very happy to be around their family, making birthdays and holidays memorable and expressing her love in so many ways.
Then in March of 2010, Ella was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although the last two years of her life were the hardest, they were also the most cherished. Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, Ella surrendered her life to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, being born of water and Spirit and also set free from over 40 years of smoking. Her most treasured days were spent with her family, going to church, worshipping the Lord, listening to the Word of God and gathering with her friends in Christ.
Ella had a very strong faith in God, and He was always at the center of her conversations. Her faith never wavered, but instead became stronger until the day the Lord called her home on Friday, July 20, 2012. She was 67 years old.
Ella Lavine Bobot (nee Ratliff, La Rue). Cherished mother of Michele La Rue and Sherri (John) Hornak. Loving grandmother of Benjamin and Noah. Dear sister of the late Donna Ratliff, Al ( Elsie) Ratliff, Sylvia (Jerry) Kempka, Arlie (Sue) Ratliff, Dave (Gail) Ratliff, the late Roger Ratliff, Everett Ratliff and Linda Ratliff. Further survived by other relatives and friends.
Visitation Saturday, July 28 at Parkway Apostolic Church 10940 S. Nicholson Road, Oak Creek, WI from 9:00 AM until time of the Funeral Service at 11:00 AM. Interment Forest Hill Memorial Park, Oak Creek, WI. Suminski LifeStory Funeral Home, Niemann / Suminski, 414-744-5156, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com
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