Ratcliff, John Walter

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John Walter Ratcliff, 91, of Pulaski, passed away peacefully at his residence on Sunday evening January 18, 2009, surrounded by his loving family. He was born October 5, 1917 in Roanoke, he was the son of the late Verna Ola Beckner Ratcliff and George Hubble Ratcliff.

He was a member of the Anderson Memorial Presbyterian Church, was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in World War II in the 242nd Combat Battalion Engineers from January 1942 until December 1945. He trained at Ft. Belvoire Eastern Defense Command. His military travels sent him from Virginia to Long Island, N.Y., Southwest Pacific, the Philippines, Guam, New Habberides and into Japan. Mr. Ratcliff was trained as a heavy equipment crane operator who constructed roads and air strips, and was responsible for clearing mine strips to make it safe for the infantry. He was close to the famous military reporter Ernie Pyles when he was killed at Ishema, Okanawa. Upon returning to the United States, he began working for the Southwest Motors in Pulaski for two years under the G.I. Bill in Auto Repair. In 1948 he went to work for Mayberry Buick. His later years he was employed with the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, where he received his retirement.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Robert Lee Ratcliff, George Hubble Ratcliff, Roy Dickerson Ratcliff, two sisters, Hazel R. Gardner and Edna O. Manuel.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kathleen Hall Ratcliff; a daughter, Sue R. Blackwell and her husband, Gary, of Pilot: a sister, Yvone Tucker, of Cleveland, Ohio; a brother, James Paul Ratcliff and his wife, Sally, of Pulaski; and one very special grandchild, Eric Todd Hurst and his wife, Tina, of Pulaski; two great-grandchildren, Lindsey and Tyler Hurst, of Pulaski.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday January 21, 2009 at 12 noon at Thomas M. Seagle & Sons with the Rev. Todd Triplett officiating. Interment will follow in Highland Memory Gardens in Dublin, where the V.F.W. Post 1184 will conduct military honors.

Visiting will be anytime Tuesday after 2 p.m. at the funeral home, where the family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.seaglefuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Thomas M. Seagle & Sons, Pulaski.