James Everett Ratliff, 91 of West Alexandria: The old lions are passing. On Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 at 4:20 p.m., James Everett Ratliff, born Dec. 26, 1921, landed on Heaven's shore.
As a member of the greatest generation, Jim was simply a very good and decent man who loved life, his family and his country. He was one of 16 million fellow American comrades in arms, who saved America, and quite literally "the world," from unspeakable evil during the desperate days of World War II.
His unit was a USMC DIVE BOMBER SQUADRON, VMSB 244, that saw action on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Munda and Luzon.
Jim grew up on the family farm in Lanier Township. In 1940, he graduated from Lanier High School, where he played halfback on the undefeated and unscored upon 1939 Lanier Football Team.
He was preceded in death by his father, Everett Ratliff, a WWI USMC veteran; his mother, Flora Esther Frisby; sisters, Erma Lou Ratliff, Shirley Ratliff, brother Charles Raymond Ratliff, a USMC veteran who carried a flamethrower on Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Jim attended Miami University for two years prior to joining the Marine Corps in June of 1942. Following the war, Jim married Marlys Harriet Hauge of Pequot Lakes, MN. Jim was a 32nd degree Mason of King Hiram F & AM Lodge #88 of West Alexandria, a member of the Eaton American Legion and VFW #8066, as well as the Middletown Fraternal Order of Eagles Aeries #528 and member of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
Jim worked extremely hard most of his life performing two full time jobs as a farmer and Armco Steel worker for more than 30 years. But most importantly, James Everett Ratliff became a Christian and now enjoys the blessed rewards of eternal life in Heaven. He fought the good fight. He finished the race. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
He is survived by his wife, Marlys and children, Daniel E.(Connie) Ratliff, Farmersville, James E. (Carolyn) Ratliff, Oxford, John T. Ratliff, West Alexandria, Mary M. (David) Graham, Bonita Springs, FL., eight grandchildren, Rebecca Ratliff, Arlington, VA., Katherine Ratliff Peat, Manassas, VA., Heather Ratliff, Cincinnati, Holly Ratliff, Raleigh Durham, NC, Kari Graham Rankine, Jupiter, FL, Kim Graham Lawless (Greenbelt, MD., Otto Graham, Gainesville, FL., and Kent Graham, West Palm Beach, FL., two great-grandchildren Dylan Rankine and his sister, Taylor Rankine, Jupiter, FL.
A funeral service was held Jan. 4, at Gratis United Methodist Church with Rev. Gary Wood officiating.
For condolences: www.lindloffzimmerman.com.