Wesley Don Ratcliff, also known as “Chief” and “Big Daddy,” of Franklin, Tennessee, passed away on November 20, 2021, after 86 years of living life to the fullest. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wesley H. Ratcliff and Corinne Renois Ratcliff, his sister, Melba Crow, and his beloved wife of 64 years, Delores Cecil Ratcliff. He is survived by two daughters, Susan (Tim) Davis of Franklin, Stephanie (Dean) Cardel of Readyville; his brother, Fred Ratcliff of Memphis; granddaughters, Kristin Madrid, Olivia (Clint) Wright, Rachel (Anoulom) Phimphivong; grandsons, Andrew (Leanna) Davis, Michael (Emily) Cardel and Jeremy Cardel, great granddaughters, Gabriela Madrid, and two November newcomers, Selah Cardel, and Corinne Phimphivong; great grandsons, Breckan Davis, James Wright and Ike Wright.
He married his high school sweetheart in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1955 and graduated from Centenary College. He served in the army during the Korean conflict. He worked as a field agent for the Internal Revenue Service in Louisiana and Florida before becoming Chief of Criminal Investigations for all of Tennessee. He was famous among his agents for saying, “Trying to fool a Special Agent is like trying to sneak daylight past a rooster.”
Anyone who knew Don will remember his infectious smile and his generous nature. He loved to play golf, duck hunt, make wine, play his guitar and sing, and cook gumbo for friends so he could “keep his weight up.” He led the Fourth of July BBQ fundraiser at The Church of the Resurrection for many years. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Franklin. Though we are all, as he would say, “lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon wheel rut,” we are thankful that he has passed into the arms of our loving Savior and has been reunited with his “beautiful bride.”
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Franklin, Tennessee. Visitation with family will be at 1:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Please be advised that Dickens of a Christmas will be ongoing and Main Street will be closed. Parking will be available for the service in St. Paul’s lot accessible from Fair Street and Hwy. 96. The service will also be available to view through Facebook live on St. Paul’s website.
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church
510 W. Main St., Franklin TN 37064