Gordon and Gretchen Rabe established this endowed scholarship in their names in December of 2003. Both are graduates of the Iowa Falls Community School District where Gordon was particularly active in athletics and Gretchen in music. Gordon and Gretchen Tjaden were married on March 4, 1951. Gordon passed away September 20, 2012. They were blessed with seven children, daughters Sue Taylor, Jane Hansen, Nancy Lathrop, Mary Rabe, and Judy Adams and sons Joe and Gary. All live in the Iowa Falls Community School District. The school activities of their 20 grandchildren kept both Gretchen and Gordon well entertained and Gretchen continues to closely follow their many activities. Commitment and interest in family have always been high priorities with the Rabes. Gordon and Gretchen’s sons Joe and Gary continue to operate the family farms. The Rabe farms are located south of Iowa Falls in Ellis Township. The residents of the township have a longtime connection and involvement with the college. It was the Ellis Church Ladies who served the original Ellsworth College Christmas Dinner, a tradition that continues to this day featuring the story of that first dinner and the red and white table coverings. The Rabes have been active in the rural Ellis Methodist Church. Gordon served on the Iowa Falls Community School District Board of Education for 12 years with five as its president. He also served as an active member of the Ellsworth College Foundation Board of Directors. The Rabe family members have a continuing strong interest in students and athletics and have supported both Ellsworth Community College and Iowa Falls Community High School financially, as well as with attendance. Gordon passed away September 20, 2012.
The Rabes are energetic people who support their church, the Iowa Falls community, and all facets of education and agriculture. They enjoy both foreign and domestic travel. This endowed scholarship illustrates well their longtime commitment to students and education.