Henry Charles Ratcliff

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 27, 2015

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Feb. 16, 1943 – Feb. 22, 2015

NATCHEZ — Services for Henry Charles “Charlie Rat” Ratcliff, 72, who died Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Houston from complications of a long awaited liver transplant, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Kramer officiating.2:27 HenryCRatcliff obitpic

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. until service time Saturday at the church.

Mr. Ratcliff was born Feb. 16, 1943, in Natchez, the only child of Leon and Ruby Hutton Ratcliff.

He was a 1961 graduate of Natchez High School where he played percussion in the NHS marching band as well as in the jazz pep band.

Elected “Best Male Dancer” his senior year, upper and under girl classmates lined up to dance with Charlie everywhere from the City Auditorium, the Canteen, at proms and graduation ceremonies, all the way to the 2015 Natchez Mardi Gras balls. In his junior year in high school, he danced in the in the polka tableau during Spring Pilgrimage.

Charlie attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he pledged Kappa Alpha. He later became certified in respiratory therapy, his life career. He worked most of his years at Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday and retired from there in 2012.

Charlie loved life, people and having fun, which came naturally to him, owing to his light spirit and open heart. He had a wide range of interests from wood carving, to golf, to fishing and appreciated the value of history and its artifacts. He was well versed in the history of war of his country and was a proud American every day of his life. He was in the Natchez Little Theatre cast of the Mississippi Medicine Show for seven years. He acted in Southern Exposure as well.

Charlie Rat was a long time member in good standing of Buck Island Hunting Camp, which was more to him than a place to hunt and fish. It was his second home and its members his family. After his wife of 17 years and best friend, Pat, died in 2004, it became his sanctuary.

Charlie was also a member of the prize committee of The Gulf Oil and Gas Invitational Golf Tournament for more than 15 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.

Survivors include two sons, Charles Michael and wife, Allie, of Gonzales and James Claxton and wife, Alysha, of Ferriday; two daughters, Leanne Ratcliff of Dallas and Michelle Spillman of Natchez; his soul mate, Suzi Russ; and seven grandchildren, Krystal, Trey, Hunter, Trent, Peyton, Connor and Charlie.

Pallbearers will be Andy Eidt, Nicky Myers, Jack Sullivan, Butch Brown, Duncan McFarlane, Allen Brown and Maurice Levite.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of Buck Island Hunting Camp.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jefferson Street United Methodist Church.