Funeral service to honor both Ratliffs

Published 6:45 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Family and friends of Charles “Ploochie” and Virginia Ratliffsaid they wouldn’t be surprised if the inseparable husband and wifeduo are now in heaven wearing matching angel wings, much like alltheir outfits matched when they were on earth.

A memorial service to both of their lives will be held Friday at10:30 a.m. at Brookhaven Funeral Home on Natchez Drive, with burialto follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. Visitation is from 5 p.m. to 8p.m. at the funeral home.

Ploochie Ratliff, 87, passed away Tuesday night, ending a life ofservice to the people of Brookhaven. He became front page news twoand a half years ago when his beloved wife disappeared, last seenen route to visit him at the VA Hospital in Jackson.

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Virginia, 83 at the time of her disappearance, was never found, andfamily members said Ploochie had to adjust to life without her. Itwas strange for everyone to see the two not joined at the hip. Assuch, Ploochie Ratliff’s funeral will be a tribute to bothRatliffs.

“They have many stories through their lives that are fun, and we’regoing to miss them,” said Virginia’s brother, Caby Byrne. “This isa significant day celebrating both of their lives. There’s a lot tocelebrate.

“We made the decision that this would be timely because anyone thatknew them, knew they were always together, they were like twins,”Byrne said. “What is said in the service will be about both ofthem.”

Byrne said there will be special family friends who will speak atthe service, and that community members are welcome, because of howimportant the community was to the Ratliffs.

“One of the things that we’re pleased about is from the verybeginning of her absence and his health progression, we wereconcerned if he would be able to remain in his house. We werethankful he wasn’t put in any situation where he might have hadthat compromised,” Byrne said. “He was able to be a presence in theenvironment of the people he loved and so forth like always upuntil his death.”

And in spite of missing the woman he loved all his life, familymembers said Ploochie Ratliff was brave to the end.

“He never gave up,” Byrne said. “He had more and more limitations,but he always said he was going to live to be 110 years old.”

The family will miss Ploochie and Virginia Ratliff, Byrne said, butit’s best that they are remembered at the end the way they alwayswere during their lives – together.

“Ploochie was the brother I never had, and I loved going to theirhouse. He took me in and taught me how to do things,” Byrne said.”We’re saddened by his passing, but knowing he wasn’t going tosuffer any longer like he had in those last couple of days, itgives us some sense of mixed emotion that he’s better off.”