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BIG" WAYNE RATCHFORD "Big" Wayne Ratchford, 92 of Kennewick, died August 2 in Kennewick. He was born in Mobeetie, Texas and lived in the Tri-City area since 1949. Wayne was a retired licensed optician. Wayne Ratchford was born in Texas and graduated from Shamrock high school. He moved to Seminole, Oklahoma to train to be a licensed optician, which he took great pride in. He married Dorothea Evelyn Ragan in 1947. They moved to Kennewick with their daughter Marilyn in 1949. When Wayne moved to Kennewick he had many different jobs, one being that he worked in the Hanford area as an oil operator. Then he resumed his career as an optician. At the same time, Wayne continued his love of music. He began playing with "Montana" Bill Drinkard. Then he started his country music band, "Big Wayne, Little Wayne, and the Cascade Troubadours." The band played on broadcast television throughout the Northwest. Wayne was prominently featured on the hit show "Wagon Wheel." His daughter Marilyn sang with the band on television. His music impacted and brought great joy to everyone around him. He was a very talented musician and showman. Wayne also built custom dune buggies with his son Bruce. His talents left us all with a lifetime of memories. He was a master woodworker, landscape painter, cabinet maker, jewelry maker; and fashioned countless memories with loved ones hunting & fishing in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. For his life well lived, he was truly a legend in his own time. Wayne is survived by his wife Dorothea of 70 years. Wayne's greatest gift was being a great father to Marilyn (Larry), Vicki (Bill), Jodi (Lyle), and Bruce (Lorrie). Also want to thank Jodi for being a faithful visitor and caregiver. Wayne is also survived by eight grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. Wayne is preceded in death by his dad, his mom, two sisters, one brother, and his daughter Vicki. At Wayne's request there will be no services. But we will be having a gathering at a later date to celebrate Wayne
Published in Tri-City Herald from Aug. 8 to Aug. 13, 2017