The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 21, 2013

John Roe Ratzlaff

Published 4-21-13

Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Funeral service for John Roe Ratzlaff will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Faith Center Fellowship in Meno, with Rev. Terrill Parvin and Pastor David Player officiating. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, south of Ringwood. Viewing will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, with family present from 6-8 p.m. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home Inc., Helena.

Memories may be shared at www.lanman

John Roe Ratzlaff, 85, of the Ringwood-Meno communities, left us Thursday, April 18, 2013, after a short illness. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, farmer and cattleman for 65 years. He was born July 17, 1927, on a farm southeast of Ringwood, the son of Cephas and Pauline Wright Ratzlaff.

John graduated from Ringwood High School in 1946.

On Sept. 4, 1946, he joined the U.S. Army. During his military service, he attained the rank of corporal and received the Army of Occupation Medal Japan and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged Dec. 19, 1947, and returned to work with his father, Cephas, on the farm.

In 1948, John saw Gracie Bingham in Ames.  They fell in love and were companions for 65 years. They were married in a small rural church, Eden Baptist Church, located between Ames and Lacey.

After their marriage, they established their first home on the family farm southeast of Ringwood, where they began a dairy. In 1949, their first son, Dennis, was born.

In 1955, Gracie entered the Gold Spot Dairy Contest. John and Gracie won grand prize for two by train to Los Angeles, Calif. Enjoying the West Coast, they soon sold the farm and moved the family to Huntington Park, Calif., where John worked for Fiberboard Paper Mill in Vernon, Calif., for seven years. A second son, Alan was born in Lynwood, Calif., in 1962. Six months later, John was given the opportunity to return back to Ringwood to take over his dad’s farming operation.

John treasured volunteering and serving the community. Some community organizations with which he served were Ringwood Lions Club, Ames American Legion and Ringwood School Board for 12 years.

He was a member of Ringwood United Methodist Church, where he participated in the church choir, was a lay leader, was chairman of the administrative board, was on the board of trustees and the finance committee.

John traveled throughout the United States with family.

In 1981, his grandson, Heath, was born. During 2007, John shared his farming and cattle knowledge with his grandson. The two have farmed together since that time.

Those who have preceded John in death are his parents, Cephas and Pauline Ratzlaff.

Those who survive include his wife, Gracie of Meno; his sons, Dennis of Altus and Alan of Tulsa; his grandson, Heath at the location of the first farm near Ringwood; his great-grandsons, Ashyr and Asah; his sister, Betty Mason; special relationships, Ron Painter and Jaclyn Gailbraith; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family would like to express “thanks” to The Commons staff and Hospice Circle of Love.

Memorials may be made through the funeral home to Ringwood United Methodist Church, Ringwood Lions Club, Hospice Circle of Love or Oklahoma Medical Research, cancer division.

(Submitted by family)