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.