Cover photo for Ethelene "Rusty" M. Rakestraw's Obituary
Ethelene "Rusty" M. Rakestraw Profile Photo
1946 Rusty 2024

Ethelene "Rusty" M. Rakestraw

August 20, 1946 — April 26, 2024


Ethelene “Rusty” M. Rakestraw, age 77, of Topeka, KS, passed away on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Stormont Vail Hospital.

Rusty was born the daughter of Dueward A. and Josephine C. (Simecka) on August 20, 1946, in Topeka, KS. She was a 1964 graduate from Silver Lake High School. Rusty then attended Washburn University and Baker University.

She met, fell in love and married Harris Rakestraw, Jr., on January 6, 1967, at the Northland Christian Church. They shared 50 years of marriage before Harris’s passing on June 14, 2017. Rusty was a successful realtor in her younger years. She retired from the City of Topeka in the Engineering Department. After retirement she enjoyed spending time on her property with Harris. Upon his passing she moved into town and has actively participated in the Collins Park Neighborhood Association.  Never one to sit idle, Rusty enjoyed working on her flower garden, sewing, and on occasion making custom jewelry. Spending time near lakes, oceans, and traveling brought her great joy. She will be remembered for her love of birds, her butterfly garden, her rose bushes, and her love of her family.

Survivors include her son, Scott A. Rakestraw and his wife Jenn; daughter, Kelly M. Damm and her husband (Shawn). Other survivors include her seven beloved grandchildren; one cherished great-grandchild; and two sisters, Madalene Golden and Kathy Constant.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harris; and two brothers, Jody and Marlin Constant.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial visitation will take place from 6-8:00 P.M., on Friday, May 3, 2024, at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home.

A memorial graveside service will take place at 11:00 A.M., on Saturday, May 4, at Prairie Home Cemetery, 3430 NW Menoken Rd, Topeka, KS 66618.

Memorial contributions can be made in Rusty's memory to West Side Christian Church, 432 SW Lindenwood Ave., Topeka, KS 66606 and/or Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Shriners Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home.

To share a memory or to leave condolences, please visit,

Arrangements entrusted to Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ethelene "Rusty" M. Rakestraw, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Friday, May 3, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Brennan Mathena Funeral Home

800 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Graveside Service

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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