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Ruben M. "Mitch" Ratliff Sr., 76, of Roanoke, Va., passed away Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017.
He was born Feb. 2, 1941.
Mitch was preceded in death by his parents, Ruben and Gay Ratliff; his first wife of 32 years, Carol Leona Sproles Ratliff; and his sisters, Betty Lewis, Sue Martin and Carol Conley.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Betty Sue Ratliff; a daughter, Dana (David) Burkhardt of Manassas, Va.; and sons, Mitch Ratliff Jr. of Bedford, Va., Paul (Susan) Phillips of Forsyth, Ill., and Wesley (Stephanie) Phillips of Warrenton, Va.; his brother, Tim (Meme) Ratliff of San Diego, Calif.; six grandsons, Aaron, Leo (Jaime), Trey, Noah, Jacob and Andrew; eight granddaughters, Rhonda, Kristyn (Benjamin), Joy (Fred), Emily (Jason), Sarah, Grace, Lauren and Rachel; and nine great-grandchildren, Jacob, Gavyn, McKenzi, Robbie, Ryan, David, Sophia, Hunter and Peyton.
Mitch enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve during his senior year of high school in February of 1959. After graduation he was ordered to two years active service and later re-enlisted in the U.S. Navy. As a selectee for Chief Petty Officer he was also selected for and promoted to Warrant Officer (W-1). After promotion through the Warrant Officer ranks to CWO4 he was promoted and commissioned to Lieutenant Junior grade (Limited Duty Officer) in the administration designator. He served as Personnel Officer, Administrative Officer and Officer in Charge on various ships and shore commands. He changed his designator to LDO Law where he was the Legal Administrator at Naval Legal Service Offices, the headquarters of the Navy Judge Advocate General and Commander Naval Legal Service Command.
Lieutenant Commander Ratliff retired after completing 28 years active duty. He holds a BS degree in business and completed graduate level studies in financial management while on active duty. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Commander Ratliff worked as Executive Director for two large law firms, eventually retiring from Woods Rogers and Hazelgrove in Roanoke, Va., in 1992.
Even though very successful in his military and civilian careers, he is most proud of his accomplishments of serving the Lord through his church and various Christian boards. He used the last year of his life to share his love for Jesus Christ in the FROG Ministry. Everywhere he went he gave little green frogs to people encouraging them to "Fully Rely On God" for every aspect of their life.
Funeral services will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, at Grace Church located at 2731 Edgewood Street, SW in Roanoke.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Interment will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Evergreen Burial Park with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Church Mission's Committee.
Oakey's South Chapel in Roanoke is in charge of arrangements..
Published on September 7, 2017
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