Roy Ramon Ratcliffe (Ray), 87, of Lake Gaston, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 27. A memorial service will be held at a future date.
The son of Roy Raymond and Mary Ruth, he was born on March 24, 1932, and raised in Philippi, W.Va. He spent his childhood in Philippi, where he was an Eagle Scout and belonged to the Masonic Lodge. He attended West Virginia University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. While attending WVU, he met and fell in love with Mary E. Poust, and they married on May 1, 1954. After graduating from WVU, he spent a few years in the United States Army. He and Mary went on to have three loving children.
Ray and Mary moved from state to state before eventually settling in Oakland, N.J., where he worked as a chemical engineer. They raised their family in Oakland until he retired from Matheson Gas Products in 1993.
He and Mary relocated to Lake Gaston in 1994 to enjoy their retirement and provided a loving home on the lake for their family to gather each year. He spent his time volunteering with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Habitat for Humanity, the computer club, and tutoring at Vaughan Elementary School, where he was beloved by the children he taught.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary, of 62 years (d. 2016); his sister, Sue Beazley; and his parents. He is survived by his three children, Ronn R. Ratcliffe, of Cleveland, Ga., Mary Beth Nilan, and her husband, Paul, of Stockholm, N.J., and Jill Pezzolla of Littleton, N.C.
He will be greatly missed by his six grandchildren, Katherine Ratcliffe, Sarah Ratcliffe, Jason Nilan, Meghan Scheier, Kyle Pezzolla, Lisa Pezzolla, and two great-grandchildren, Lucas Pezzolla and Torin Nilan. He is also survived by his sister, Sarah Weiner of Ormond Beach, Fla., and many nieces and nephews.
Ray was a wonderful father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who had the kindest heart and unique sense of humor. His memory will be cherished by all who knew and loved him.
Memorials may be directed to either Habitat for Humanity or Lakeside Lutheran Church.