What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
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Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
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Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.

Service Details


Thursday, April 20, 2017
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Grace United Methodist Church
3700 Cottage Grove Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa


Friday, April 21, 2017
11:00 am
Grace United Methodist Church
3700 Cottage Grove Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa


Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines, Iowa


Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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Harold Edward Rathert

Harold Edward Rathert, 92, died April 17, 2017 at Methodist Hospital. Services will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Ave. in Des Moines with visitation Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the funeral service on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.

Harold was born April 18, 1924 in Holstein, Iowa. His parents were Walter and Agnes Rathert. He attended school in Holstein, graduating in 1942.

Harold was a combat veteran of World War II, serving in the Ninth Infantry Division in Europe. His service medals include a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, awarded as a result of action in the Battle of the Bulge.

Following the war, he enrolled at Drake University, graduating in 1950 with a major in science education. He also earned a Master’s degree in School Administration from Drake, as well as a Master’s degree in science from Northern Michigan University at Marquette.

He met Nancy Holmes, the love of his life, at Drake. After their marriage in 1950, they settled in Gruver, Iowa for four years where Harold taught at Center Township High School. Their daughter, Kathryn, was born in Estherville, Iowa in 1952. Their next home was in Indianola, Iowa, where Harold taught high school chemistry. Their son, Keith, was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1955.

They came to Des Moines in 1956, where Harold taught physics at East High School for nine years. He was then appointed to the position of supervisor of science for the Des Moines Schools, a position he held for 25 years, retiring in 1989. During these years, he became involved in civic endeavors. He was instrumental in the initial planning, development, and staffing of the Des Moines Center of Science and Industry in Greenwood Park, serving on its board of directors.

Harold was a life member of the National Science Teachers Association, Golden K Kiwanis, and a 50 year member of Grace United Methodist Church. He enjoyed traveling, reading, vacations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, family gatherings, and his many friendships.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Louise Rathert; children, Kathy Burtch and Keith Rathert; and sister, Evelyn Kissinger. Harold is survived by his son-in-law, Dean (Jody) Burtch of Windsor Heights; granddaughter, Tara (Mike) Lund of Lafayette, CO; grandsons, Sean Rathert of Denver, CO, and Eric (Penni) Rathert of West Des Moines; great-granddaughters, Sydney and Morgan Lund; sister-in-law, Jacqueline (Joe) Williams of Johnston, IA; two nephews; and five nieces.

Memorial contributions in Harold’s name may be made to the Science Center of Iowa or Grace United Methodist Church. Condolences may be expressed online at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.