John S. “Steve” Ratliff, 71, of Milton, Florida, passed away October 16, 2018, after a brief illness. He was born January 28, 1947, in Richlands, Virginia, and grew up in Palatka, Florida. He was a member of UWF’s charter class, graduating in 1969. After graduation, he volunteered for the draft and served in the Republic of Vietnam for twelve months in fire direction for Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 52nd Artillery Group. After his return from Vietnam, he married the former Anna Elizabeth Speed and worked as an assistant manager for J.M. Fields’s department store. In October 1975, he joined the School District of Santa Rosa County as purchasing manager, where he worked for thirty-three years before retiring as Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services in December 2008.
Steve began collecting coins as a fifth-grade student and remained an avid numismatist and token collector until his death. He served several terms as president of the Florida Token Society and edited the group’s newsletter, Tokenews, for several decades. He also collected coal script, a hobby that began when his grandmother gave him a piece of script earned by his grandfather the day that Steve’s own father was born. Coin collecting facilitated one of his great joys in life: receiving the mail. His other hobby was his car, a red Corvette, which he had fun driving. He enjoyed all things Elvis and often commented that “you can’t go a day without some reference to Elvis.”
Steve Ratliff was preceded in death by his parents, John S. Ratliff and Evelyn Norene Spangler Ratliff, of Palatka, Florida.
He is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Anna Speed Ratliff; son, John H. Ratliff (Amy); daughters, Michelle E. Lee (Nathan) and Jamie L. Alcorn; his brother, Mike Ratliff; and grandchildren, Cooper Lee, Foster Ratliff, Trinity Lee, Bentley Ratliff, and Isabella Alcorn.
Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church, Milton, FL, on Thursday, October 18, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., with a memorial service following immediately afterward. He will be buried in the Bonner Memorial Cemetery, in Toxey, Alabama, on Friday, October 19, at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Jonathan Russell will officiate both ceremonies. Active pallbearers are Jim Beagle, David Wolfe, Nicky Walker, Jared Speed, Richard Snow, Joey Harrell, Michael Speed, and Tim Wyrosdick. Honorary pallbearers are Al Faulkner, Frank Melvin, Charlie Parker, Tom Garrett, Nancy Williams, Cathy Ward, and Richard Mancini. Lewis Funeral Home of Milton has been entrusted with arrangements.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff and physicians at Baptist Health Care and the friends and family who have helped so much during the past few months.
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