Walter Ratcliff

Obituary
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  • "So sorry to hear of Walts passing. From His friends at..."
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    - For the Commanders, Carroll R. Michaud
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Walter Allen Ratcliff



On October 1, 2017, we said our final Good Bye to the "larger than life" patriotic, intelligent, conservative, loving man who we called Dad, Grandpa, and Great Grandpa. He was very humble and kind. Col. Walter Allen Ratcliff (Ret.) was called to be by his heavenly father's side.

He is survived by "the love of his life" and wife of 65 years, Jo Dene (Bryan) Ratcliff; his children, Joel A. Ratcliff, Douglas S. Ratcliff and Cynthia A. (Ratcliff) Sandlin and their spouses, respectfully, Deana Ratcliff, Barbara Ratcliff, and Keith Sandlin. He is also survived by his sister Ginger Ratcliff, niece Neoma Gomez and her husband Cary Gomez, nephew Captain James Ramsey, and grandchildren, Jason A. Ratcliff, Shannon (Ratcliff) Currie, Ashley (Ratcliff) Hinshaw, Christina Ratcliff and their spouses, Heather Britton, Derek Currie, and Jeff Hinshaw. He was also Great Grandpa to Autumn Ratcliff, Cameron Currie, and Madison Currie. He was preceded in death by his father Winston Allen Ratcliff, his mother, Mary Virginia (Hudson) Ratcliff and sister Beverley (Ratcliff) Ramsey. He meant so much to all of us and he will be deeply missed.

Walter was a man of many talents and many experiences. He was a graduate of Kemper Military School, followed by a Bachelor's in Petroleum Geology in 1953 from Centenary College. His Master's in Public Administration was from Shippensburg State College, PA in 1976. Starting in 1953, he began 28 years of service in the United States Army and loved his career as a master Army aviator. He flew both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, and could not believe he was getting paid to do so. He served his country with one tour of the Korean Peninsula in 1961 and 2 tours of duty in the Vietnam war in 1965 and 1970. Throughout his career, he was a test pilot for numerous cutting-edge aircraft, including the UH-60 Black Hawk. He was a graduate of the Army War College in 1976. He commanded (ARADMAC) U.S. Army Transportation Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Center. He served as Director of Development and Engineering for (AVRADCOM) Aviation Research and Development Command. He also served as the Commanding Officer of the Corpus Christi Army Depot. He retired with a distinguished career in the Army in 1981.

His second career of 11 years, began with Central Power and Light in Corpus Christi, TX as Vice President of Corporate Services. He was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Services at Central Southwest in Dallas, TX.

Upon his 2nd retirement in 1992, he and Jo Dene resided in Albuquerque and traveled extensively thru out the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He enjoyed singing and playing his Ukulele, Golf, Sailing, Scuba Diving and Fishing. He became an avid fly fisherman and treasured many fly fishing trips with New Mexico Trout friends and family on rivers such as the Greene River, Yellowstone River, San Juan and others. He also was on the Board of Directors for Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque as an advocate for Seniors. He also served on the Board of Directors for Ghost Ranch for many years in retirement.

We will miss him dearly; may he Rest in Peace.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Oct. 22, 2017
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