VONYA “LEE” RATCLIFF, mother of Dr. Bill Ratcliff (Carrie) and Dr. Chris Ratcliff (Renee) of Huntington and Cindy Ratcliff Nivens (Ted) of Palm Coast, Florida, just saw the New Year arrive before her life’s journey carried her on to Heaven’s glory. Her life began on April 19, 1933, as the youngest daughter of George and Bessie Bott. She grew up with two sisters, JoAnn and Edna Mae, in the Kanawha City area of Charleston.
While attending Charleston High School and involved with the band as a majorette, Lee met the love of her life, Bill. Bill started college at Marshall, but decided to return to Charleston to marry Lee and start a career. Lee worked at Morris Harvey and then in real estate, but her true passion was looking after her family.
Bill’s long career with the telephone company took them from Charleston to the NYC area, to Beckley, back to Charleston, and finally to the Washington, D.C., area before retiring to Lakeland, Florida. After losing Bill to cancer in 1991, Lee returned to West Virginia and has resided in the Hurricane area to be close to many dear friends.
Lee was fun-loving and treasured spending time telling stories and jokes, as well as playing cards and other games with her beloved friends, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She had seven grandchildren, Beth Jones (Chuck), Phillip Ratcliff (Stephanie), Chris Fatkin (Nichi), Brandon Ratcliff (Nikki), Chandler Ratcliff, Ava Ratcliff and Isaac Ratcliff. She had 12 great-grandchildren.
Lee fought a valiant fight against breast cancer, but God called her home to end her pain and to be closer to her loved ones that left before her. She passed peacefully on January 3, 2022, in Florida. It was her desire to have a party and to share happiness after her funeral, so a celebration of life is being held Saturday, January 15, at the 21 banquet room in downtown Huntington from 4 to 6 p.m. A visitation with family is from 1 to 3 p.m. and service from 3 to 4 p.m. by Jacque Compton from Central Christian Church at Beard Mortuary prior to departing for the reception.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to The Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research in Lee Ratcliff’s honor.
Online memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.beardmortuary.com.