Jean Ratkovich-Baker

Jean Ratkovich-Baker
(nee Brodiske)

Age 83, of Plainfield, IL and formerly of Joliet, IL and Mountain Home, AR, passed away peacefully Thursday, December 27, 2018 at her late residence surrounded by her loving family.  Born September 23, 1935 in La Crosse, WI, she was the daughter of the late Matthew and Josephine (nee Martino) Brodiske.  She attended Cunningham Grade School, Farragut Junior High School, Joliet Township High School and Joliet Junior College.  Jean worked as a graphic artist for the Lockport Shopper, Gerlac Barclow, and Pepperidge Farm.

Jean married Joseph Ratkovich, Jr. in 1953, and he preceded her in death in 1986.  She later married Vernon J. Baker in Cave Creek, AZ, and they enjoyed many happy years together.  

She was active throughout her life as a YABA coach, softball coach, volunteer art teacher, hospital volunteer, and LTHS and Ludwig School Band Booster officer, but was most fulfilled by her thirty plus years serving as Domestic Goddess for her five children.  She claimed to be a graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks", but admitted to having a lot of fun along the way.  In addition to her volunteer activities, Jean enjoyed bowling, fishing, traveling, playing cards, gardening and doing needle work.

Surviving are her loving husband, Vernon; five children, Michael (Sandy) Ratkovich of Gleason, WI, Linda (Richard) Fox of Oswego, David Ratkovich of Yorkville, Kevin (Jeanie) Ratkovich of Eureka Springs, AR, and Tracy (Brian) Budzinski of Shorewood; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

She was also preceded in death by her granddaughter, Brandi Jo Ratkovich and brothers, Jack, Bob and Ray Brodiske.

A Memorial Gathering for Jean Ratkovich-Baker will be held Wednesday, January 2, 2019, from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m., with Celebration of Life at 7:00 p.m., at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road at Essington Road, Joliet.  Cremation rites have been accorded and interment will be private.  For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at