Thomas Kalford Ratcliff
Shreveport - Thomas Kalford Ratcliff was born in Shreveport at Schumpert on January 25, 1994, and he died on Friday, June 25, 2021, of asphyxiation during a fire in his apartment in Austin, Texas. Thomas was a funny, quirky, and loving person who valued his relationships with family and friends.
Music, fine food, and wine were among his greatest pleasures. He loved nothing more than to host a party that made people happy. Thomas was passionate about homelessness, the criminalization of poverty, and oppression in its many forms.
Thomas was educated at The Montessori School for Shreveport, Caddo Magnet High School, Bossier Parish Community College, and Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he graduated with a double major in religion and sociology and formed lasting relationships with his major professors. Having grown up in All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Shreveport, he was particularly drawn to these subjects. He was especially proud of a writing award he won in sociology.
Thomas worked at Marilyn's Place in Shreveport and at several restaurants while at Millsaps. After graduation he moved to Austin where he became a server at a fine restaurant until the pandemic. He took on the task as "manny" to his nephews, ages 12 and 2, to help his brother and sister-in-law during the first year of the pandemic, a completely new experience for him but one that formed cherished bonds. This year he became a solar panel salesman and was in the process of building a solar panel business with friends of his Austin family.
Services will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, 908 Rutherford Street (corner of Fairfield and Kings Highway), Shreveport, Louisiana, on the morning of Thursday, July 8, 2021. There will be a reception in the church parlor beginning at 9:30 and after a short break, a funeral service in the Cathedral beginning at 11:00. Officiating will be Dean Alston Johnson.
He is survived by his parents, John Garrett and Joy Fair Ratcliff; his grandmother, Bettie Parks Fair, of Shreveport; his brother and sister-in-law, Garrett Bateman and Krista Duttenhaver Ratcliff and two children of Austin; his sister Margaret "Megan" Linsley Ratcliff and her three children of Asheville, North Carolina; his uncle and aunt, William Robert and Vanessa Fair of College Station, Texas; his aunt, Lavonne Alexander of Navasota, Texas, and their three children and one grandchild; his uncle and aunt, David McLain and Deborah Brown Ratcliff of Laurel, Mississippi, and their three children and four grandchildren.
Thomas is survived by a whole host of friends, and because he loved them all so deeply he could never have chosen a few to be pallbearers, we ask that you all consider yourselves to be his honorary pallbearers.
Thomas' family suggests memorials may be made in his honor be made to any of the following organizations whose goals are consistent with his joys and concerns: Integral Care (integralcare.org
), St.Mark's Cathedral Choir or St. Mark's Cathedral Altar Guild, 908 Rutherford Street, Shreveport, LA 71104, YWCA of Northwest Louisiana (ywcanwla.org
), Dialogue on Race Louisiana (dialogueonracelouisiana.org
), and North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition (Post Office Box 38355, Shreveport LA 71133).
We are grateful to God for the 27 years we had with this beautiful young man. We are also grateful to the choir, the Altar Guild, the Stephen Ministry at St. Mark's, and a host of other friends who have ministered to our family. May God continue to bless all our journeys.
Published by Shreveport Times from Jul. 2 to Jul. 8, 2021.