William Harrison Ratcliff
A private memorial service will be held at a later date for Mr. Harry Ratcliff, 71, of Hattiesburg, who died peacefully, Thursday, November 22, 2018 at Hattiesburg Health and Rehab.
Mr. Ratcliff was born October 2, 1947 in Hattiesburg, to Warren and Iris Ratcliff. At the age of 10 his family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived until the age of 15. After 4 years in a special needs school, he returned to Mississippi and lived with his grandparents, Elbert H. and Bessie Walters Lee, in the Rock Hill community. He graduated from Forrest County Agricultural High School in the class of 1968.
Harry transitioned well to country life. He was the right hand man helping his grandparents tend all the tasks of running a working farm. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, shooting a game of pool, listening to country music, attending the rodeo and eating out. By nature Harry was a friendly person, would talk to anyone who would listen and had a good sense of humor. Harry was a loyal grandson who took care of his grandparents, without placing them in a nursing home. He made them a promise and he kept it.
Mr. Ratcliff started his employment years with Masonite Corporation. He worked in a mill environment doing log splitting type work and equipment maintenance. It was long hours on his feet. While employed by Louisiana Pacific, a job related injury ended his working career.
Declining health problems caused Mr. Ratcliff to move to Hattiesburg for medical convenience. It was at his apartment complex where he made a very good friend in David Larsen and a special needs lady, Mary Ann Stewart. Together, Harry and Mary spent their time watching TV, eating out, driving to the coast on weekends, taking in a movie and just talking on the phone. They became true friends and companions. She was homebound and helping care for Mary Ann gave him a new purpose in his life. It was Mary Ann that lead him to 38th Avenue Baptist Church, where he met Pastor David Hulsey. Harry enjoyed attending services and occasional lunches out with his pastor.
Mr. Ratcliff's family thanks Cooley's Gifted Hands private sitters, Betty, Dorothy, Shirrie, Audra, Debbie, and Alene for the kind and loving support given to Harry during his decline. You provided him the attention, companionship, and love he needed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Warren F. and Iris Lee Ratcliff; grandparents, Elbert H. and Bessie Walters Lee and a nephew, Patrick Warren O'Brien.
He is survived by two sisters, Dianne O'Brien (John) of Grosse Pointe, MI; Paulette Ratcliff (Rae Chapman) of NY; one nephew, Devin O'Brien of Detroit, MI and one niece, Lauren O'Brien Jessen (Jeff) of Chicago, IL.