David O. Rathke, B.S., D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
Dr. David Rathke earned his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1998 after earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1980 at the top five nationally rated UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry, where he was chosen "the student most proficient in anesthesiology." He is also a third-generation alumnus of Sam Houston State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. Although born and raised elsewhere in Texas, Dr. Rathke graduated from Huntsville High School in 1972, and was in the top 10% of his class.
He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Brazos Valley District Dental Society, The Houston-Conroe-Huntsville Implant Study Group, the International Association for Functional Orthodontics, and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Rathke has been happily married to Pam Ryan Rathke for more than 32 years, and is immensely proud of their two sons, Bryan and Benjamin, and their first grandson, Samuel. Dr. Bryan joined the practice several years ago (see his bio below.) Benjamin graduated Valedictorian from Huntsville High School, and is currently in graduate school studying Visualization in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, where he was a four year member of B-Company in Texas A&M's Corps of Cadets as a percussionist in the nationally famous Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.
Outside of dentistry, Dr. Rathke has a very wide variety of interests, including Amateur Radio, electronics and computers, astronomy, woodworking and metal machining, genealogy, history (especially Texas history), and music.
Bryan Rathke, B.S., D.D.S.
Dr. Rathke earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the No. 1 - rated UTHealth San Antonio School of Dentistry. He has taken courses with the Misch Implant Institute and is currently pursuing his Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Bryan Rathke was born and raised in Huntsville, Texas where his family members have been citizens of Huntsville extending four generations. He is the son of Dr. David and Mrs. Pam (Ryan) Rathke. A top 5% 2007 graduate of Huntsville High School, he was a member of the Huntsville Hornet Military Marching Band, and served as a drum major of the band his junior and senior years.
Dr. Rathke completed his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University in College Station where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in May 2011. Throughout his time as a student at Texas A&M, he was a member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band in the Corps of Cadets. While a senior in the Aggie Band, he served as B-Company Commanding Officer as well as Infantry Band Drum Major, being only the second cadet in the history of Texas A&M to hold both positions simultaneously. Under his command, B-Company was awarded the Bruno A. Hochmuth Award for Military Proficiency, and the coveted General George F. Moore Award for Most Outstanding Unit in the Corps of Cadets. His honors earned while at Texas A&M include Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and the Certificate in Leadership Study and Development.
In December of 2011, Dr. Rathke married Elizabeth Grona, daughter of Bob and Patsy Grona, also of Huntsville. Mrs. Rathke is a 2005 graduate of Huntsville High School, where she was also a member of the Huntsville Hornet Military Marching Band and also a drum major for the band her senior year. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health from SHSU in 2009, and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her R.N. at the UTHealth School of Nursing in Houston in 2011. She spent several years as an R.N. at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, and is currently an R.N. at Conroe Regional Hospital. In July 2016, Dr. and Mrs. Rathke welcomed their son, Samuel, into the world!
Dr. Rathke and his wife spend most of their time enjoying camping, fishing, and hiking with their son and local family, and their dog, Eva, whom they found with a rescue organization while living in San Antonio. They are active members at Elkins Lake Baptist Church and often volunteer with the ELBC Youth.
Liz Gray, Office Manager
Liz is likely the first person you will talk to when you call. She handles initial scheduling, patient accounts and financial arrangements, and everything to do with keeping the office running smoothly and effectively. She is very knowledgeable about insurance plans, and how to maximize your benefits.
Her trust runs deep: she was a patient before she was the Office Manager!
“I was born and raised in Houston and moved to Huntsville in 1990. After a 23 year career in banking, I joined Dr. Rathke’s practice in 2000 as Office Manager. I enjoy the challenge of keeping the practice running smoothly, both for Dr. Rathke and our patients.
“My husband, Don, and I live in Huntsville and really enjoy the friendships we have made in our community. We have five children between us, and three beautiful grandsons."
“In my spare time, I enjoy the beach, salt water fishing, gardening, and traveling.”
Betty Brown, RDA
Betty worked for our practice for 11 years before retiring May 2018. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience at the RDA position and will be sorely missed. Fortunately for us, Betty has agreed to come fill in part time if needs arise in the operatories or at the front desk. If you're lucky, you'll still get to see her occasionally around the office!
Betty started her career in dentistry in 1969 in Houston. For 22 years, her husband's transfers took her to Massachusetts, Georgia, and Louisiana.
"I was born and raised in Huntsville, and have recently moved back to the area. My life has taken me many places, and I have worked in numerous dental practices.
"Over the years, I have had such great experiences and have learned so much. This led me to Dr. Rathke's office, where I have brought forty years of experience and a willing nature to keep learning and growing.
"In my spare time, I enjoy fishing and gardening. What a joy it is to be fishing, or to see something grow!"
Rosa Cardenas, CNA, RDA
"Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, I arrived in the United States, my adopted country, in 1987, determined to learn a new culture and the new language. I married four years later and am the mother of three wonderful children, and recently, the grandmother of a beautiful baby boy.
"I have spent all of this time working and studying, earning my GED in 2004, my CNA in 2009, and I studied to become a naturalized citizen in 2007. I believe that education begins at home, because my parents taught me that goals are obtained, not by dreaming about them, but by working to achieve them.
"I am a person who lives to serve. I enjoy spending time with my family, which is very important, and I like to receive friends and cook for them. I have also learned that exercise is vital to be healthy and happy.
"I am grateful for the opportunities presented to me every day!"
"Originaria de Chihuahua, Mexico. Llegue a Estados Unidos de Americala cual adopte como mi patria en 1987, determinada a aprender una nueva cultura y un nuevo lenguaje; me case 4 años despues y soy la madre de 3 maravillosos hijos y recientemente abuela de un hermoso nieto varon.
"Todo este tiempo he trabajado y estudiado, obtuve mi diploma de GED en 2004 y mi certificacion de CNA en 2009. Mi educacion no termino alli, despues segui preparandome para la nacionalizacion norteamericana en 2007; con mi esposo cuidadano de los EUA. Creo que la educacion fomentada en casa es la mejor bases, pues mis padres asi me lo enseñaron, eso aprendi de ellos que las metas no se logran solo por pensar en ellas sino trabajando para obtenerlas.
"Soy una persona que vivo para el servicio al projimo, disfruto mucho pasar mi tiempo libre con mi familia y amigos,como tambien cocinar para todos ellos. He aprendido que el ejercicio es vital para vivir saludable y feliz.
"Vivo agradecida por cada oportunidad que se me da cada dia!"
Kathy Sanders, RDH
Kathy graduated from Madisonville High School in 1973. She earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Tyler Junior College, and has been licensed to practice Dental Hygiene in Texas since 1982. Then, after practicing Dental Hygiene for 18 years, she also earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree from Sam Houston State University in May of 1992. After earning teacher certification in 2001 and teaching public school for four years, Kathy realized that being a Dental Hygienist is what she loves. She resumed practicing Dental Hygiene in 1985.
Kathy has been married to Larry since 1992, and she is “challenged by being a mom to two sons!” They are members of Second Baptist Church Huntsville.
“I am a ‘people person’ – I enjoy meeting people, spending time with friends and church family, and particularly enjoy family time! Reading and gardening are my favorite ways to relax.
“I am extremely thankful to have chosen a career that I truly like, and to be part of a team of awesome, caring (and fun!) people.”
Dianne Simmons, RDH
Dianne graduated from Conroe High School in 1982. She earned her Associate of Applied Science degree and her Dental Hygiene license from Lamar University in 1985, and has been practicing Dental Hygiene since then. After meeting her husband, Russell (who was a patient), they moved to Morris Plains, New Jersey, where she obtained her Northeast Regional Boards in 1988, enabling her to practice in 15 northeastern states, in addition to Texas. When her husband’s job brought him back to Texas, she earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree from Sam Houston State University in May of 1994.
Dianne has practiced Dental Hygiene for over 35 years, with the most recent 21 years spent in Dr. Rathke's practice. She has worked in every aspect of Dental Hygiene, from pediatrics to periodontics. Her greatest satisfaction is to have a patient, young or old, that has had a bad dental experience in the past leave our office with a positive, rewarding experience and a smile.
Dianne and Russell are members of Elkin's Lake Baptist Church, and have three beautiful daughters. Dianne enjoys performing community service. She is a sustaining member of the Junior Service League of Huntsville, a member of the Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and an active member of the Certified Emergency Response Team of Walker County. It is very rewarding to her to help others. She enjoys snow skiing, spending time with her family, and especially, dancing. Dianne loves life and never meets a stranger.