Arthur W. “Art” Ratliff, 83, of Romney, died peacefully holding the hand of his life time partner, friend and wife on Friday, March 31, 2017, at Hampshire Memorial Hospital.
Born on May 31, 1933, in Hardy County, he was raised by his grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. John Ratliff. He was also preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Lewis.
He started out in Hardy County and at a young age found his way to Hampshire County where he graduated from Romney High with the class of 1953. Football played a tremendous part of his life. He was a proud member of the Pioneers and a member of the state champion team of 1949 that was inducted into the Hampshire County Athletic Hall of Fame. In the words of Donnie Davis, “he was one of the most faithful and loyal players I have ever known.”
Art never shied away from work and he loved working on the local orchards before and after his 4-year stint in the U.S. Air Force. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, and after his military service he pursued a career in the field of agriculture. His career in agriculture found him working at State and Federal levels not only for West Virginia, but also up and down the East coast. In 1961, while working on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, his path crossed that of a young lady who would become his wife in 1966. (Art always thought the whole thing was “rigged.”) Art and Linda enjoyed lots of laughter and cutting up through the years, enjoying their home and family in Romney.
He worked for and retired from the State of West Virginia. After retirement, he worked for Malick Auto Parts and the Central Hampshire Water Dept. He was a member of the Romney First United Methodist Church, a past Director on the Board of Romney Federal Credit Union and a long time member of the Jersey Mountain Ruritan Club,
He was an easygoing guy and will be remembered for his love of the outdoors, picking raspberries and blackberries, and often giving young people jobs doing the same. While the love of his life was his wife Linda, his heart had additional capacity for his sons and grandchildren. Art was a soft-spoken man who truly enjoyed people. Whether it was with the McDonalds group, or Linda taking (sometimes dragging) him to a social functions, he loved people and being a part of what was going on.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Linda N. Ratliff; 2 sons, Barry M. Ratliff and wife Anita and Aaron Ratliff, both of Romney; 3 grandchildren, Mason, Landon and Charlie Piper Ratliff; a half brother; and a half sister. He is also survived by Judy Loy Wilson, who was always considered as a dearly loved sister and was raised with Art by their grandparents.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 3 at Shaffer Funeral Home in Romney.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4 at Romney First United Methodist Church. Interment with military honors will follow at Branch Mountain Cemetery in Three Churches.
Contributions may be made in Art’s memory to Hospice of The Panhandle, 278 N. High St., Romney, W.Va., 26757 or to Wounded Warriors, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan., 66675-8517.