Betty Jo Ratcliff


Betty Jo Ratcliff passed away peacefully at Clinton Gardens January 31, 2024. She was born at home in Catlin, Indiana July 29th, 1929 to Harry Lake and Velma Wheat Lake. She graduated from Rosedale High School in 1947 and married Robert Ratcliff on Valentine’s Day 1950.

She was preceded in death by her parents and step-father Walter Akers, also, her brothers and sisters-in-law Al and Lavorna Lake and Bobby and Audrey Lake, son Kiery Ratcliff, grandson Ara Jones, sons-in-law John Barmeyer and Kim Mathas and the father of her children Robert Ratcliff, and her ever cantankerous and beloved Fluff the Cat. Betty Jo is survived by daughters Anda Olsen (Harvey Danner) and Alisa Wilson (Paul) and son Kevin (Kris) Ratcliff. Grandchildren Kyle (Jessica) Olsen, Jama Olsen (John Pearce), Leif Olsen, Carrie Jones, Courtney (Jason) Ross, Kurt (Lydia) Mathas, Cole (Carlye) Mathas, Summer (Billy) Seay, Rusty (Damien Crowder) Ratcliff, Roxanne (Matt) Jackson, Tessa Ratcliff, Stephanie Eagen, Stacey Stephens and special friend Beth Ann Bratcher. She is also survived by the absolute greatest joy of her life, her many great grandchildren: Jamie, Aiden, Cash, Lucas, Lanier, June, Johnny, Cody, Connor, Kellan, Cameron, Jackson, Graham, Kamden, Beckett, Emmaline, Kailey, Eli, Sadie, Sophie. Betty Jo was involved in numerous organizations over the years.

She and Bob were avid square dancers, many times dancing until the wee hours of the morning then heading to breakfast with friends. They raised registered polled Hereford cattle and were members of the Western Renegade Saddle Club. Betty Jo loved the Covered Bridge Festival and participated joyfully in many Festival activities, always delightfully anticipating the first days’ sights, sounds, tastes and smells. Bob and Betty were 4-H leaders for the Wabash Ramblers Club and enjoying many 4-H activities.

Betty Jo was a charter member of the Rockville-Parke Lions Club, instrumental in forming the club in Rockville and worked tirelessly on their philanthropic fund raisers. The Lions support of the vision impaired being dear to her heart. In later years, Betty made it her mission to see that organizations and businesses‘ American flags were in good repair, often insisting and aiding the replacement of worn flags. She worked in the Parke County Treasures’ office and retired from Lee Alan Bryant as an administrative assistant.

Betty Jo’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff of Clinton Gardens. Betty Jo was often spicy, salty and just plain ornery with the staff but they cared for her faithfully with love, kindness, good humor and amazing grace. Betty Jo was a member of the Hopewell Friends Quaker Meeting. Regular church attendance was extremely important to Betty Jo. She would drag her four children, often times, grumbling, scraggly and late, to church every Sunday of their youth. Rain, shine or out all night, there was never a good excuse for missing church.

In remembrance of Betty, we would ask that you attend a church service of your choice. If you already attend regularly, please invite someone to church in her memory. Betty Jo enjoyed a beautiful, sparkling, snowy winter’s day but did not like the cold. She spent her happiest hours out in the sun.

The family will host a Celebration of Life for Betty Jo on Saturday, June 15th, 2024 at the Rockville Elks Lodge, 360 W Strawberry Rd, Rockville, IN 47872. There will be a remembrance service at 12:00 p.m. with Pastor Perry Mager officiating. Followed by visitation, reminiscing, and fellowship from 1:00 to 3:00.

If anyone so desires, donations may be made in Betty’s honor to: Hopewell Friends Meeting, 22527 E 2650th RD, Chrisman, IL 61924.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Gooch Funeral Home & Crematory, Rockville.

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