Donald Ratliff, 72, of Lake City, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at Haven Hospice of Suwannee Valley following an extended illness.
Don was born on May 6, 1940 in Burdine, Kentucky to the late Henry and Elizabeth Belcher Ratliff. He was a 1964 graduate of Berea College in Berea, Kentucky with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Don retired to Lake City, Florida from the Department of the Army after 32 years of civilian service. During his service, he lived and worked in the United States, Germany, and The Republic of Panama. He was the recipient of many Civilian Service Awards, Meritorious Service Awards and was recognized for his outstanding service during Operation Just Cause, Panama. After retiring, he and Sherry worked as a real estate team at Bishop Realty. Don was kind and generous to all people. He was loved and respected by everyone he encountered. Don's hobbies included spending time with his grandchildren, reading, and enjoying the outdoors.
He was preceded in death by three brothers; Earnest, Thurman, Cleatus Ratliff, and one sister; Bertha Ratliff Puckett.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years Sherry Ratliff, of Lake City, three daughters; Elizabeth R. Congdon (Chris) of Lake City, Emily Ratliff (Mike Delany) of Austin, Texas, Heidi Ratliff-Walker (Luke Faucher) of Lake City, identical twin brother; Ronald Ratliff (Barbara) of Lake City, one sister; Lorene Belcher (Ed) of London, Kentucky, three grandchildren; Josef Walker, Charlotte Delany, and Alexandra Delany. Many nieces and nephews from Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee also survive him.
The family will have a gathering of friends at the funeral home from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening, November 2, 2012. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations in honor of Don may be made to the Suwannee Valley Care Center (Haven Hospice) 6037 US Highway West, Lake City, Fl 32055.
GATEWAY-FOREST LAWN FUNERAL HOME, 3596 South U.S. Highway 411, Lake City, Florida 32025, (386)752-1954.
Please leave words of comfort for the family at www.gatewayforestlawn.com