The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 Ralph Harold Ratliff

Photo added by Michael Ratliff Lutz

Ralph Harold Ratliff

  • Birth 5 Nov 1903 Tallula, Menard County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 16 Mar 1963 Redwood City, San Mateo County, California, USA
  • Burial Body donated to medical science, Specifically: He willed his body to Stanford Medical School
  • Memorial ID 79559519

Married Mildred Louise Hensley (1902-1946)in 1922.

Son with Mildred Hensley:
Ralph Harold Ratliff Jr. (1922-1997)

Married Irene Isabelle Haseltine (1906-1991)May 9, 1925 in Palo Alto California. He listed his employment as Real Estate Salesman, perhaps working for his father George O. Ratliff (1878-1946), who was a broker.

Witnessing the ceremony were his sister, Nina Mardel Ratliff (1909-1985) and his uncle, Arthur R. Benway (1900-1927)

Ralph Ratliff Succumbs:

Ralph H. Ratliff, whose Peninsula Ambulance Service has provided Redwood City's emergency transportation for 19 years died Saturday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Ratliff, 59, came here in 1939 to establish a garage and towing service at the corner of Main Street and Old Bayshore.

In 1944, Mickey Collins, then chief of police, told Mr. Ratliff that the community should be provided with some kind of ambulance service. Mr. Ratliff decided to go into the business. He began with one vehicle and today, with headquarters at 1260 Marshall St., has five.

A native of Springfield (actually Tallula), Ill., Mr. Ratliff came to Redwood City from San Francisco. He has been identified with many civic activities throughout the years, notably as the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Highway and Traffic Committee. It was for this group that he campaigned for the widening of Jefferson Ave. and Woodside Rd., the extension of Edgewood Rd. to Half Moon Bay, and many of the local provisions of the local in the proposed city-county highway bond issue.

Mr. Ratliff also was a member of the Redwood City Exchange club, Redwood City Elks lodge, Modern Woodmen of the World and United Commercial Travelers. He was a charter member and past president of the California Ambulance Association, and was awarded a 20-year pin as a first aid instructor by the Red Cross.

Mr. Ratliff's family will continue to run the ambulance firm.

Survivors include his widow, Irene, at the family home, 1007 Katherine St.; Sons Ralph J., Menlo Park and Harold K., Redwood City; a daughter; Mrs. Virginia Collins, Los Altos and a son by a previous marriage, Ralph H. Ratliff Jr. of Los Angeles. A Sister, Mrs. Mardel (Lutz) Womer resides in Redwood City. There are 15 grandchildren.

Private Funeral Services were held at Lyng & Tinney Funeral Home, 717 Jefferson Ave. Mr. Ratliff willed his body to Stanford Medical School for research.

The family prefers contributions to the American Cancer Society, 1517 South B St., San Mateo.

Ratliff Enterprises described:

Twelve women in three shifts work around the clock with their fingers virtually on the pulse of a vast segment of professional and business life. These women answer a monthly average of 38, 000 telephone calls.

They are employees of Ratliff Enterprises, Inc a family owner corporation occupying its own two-story building at 1260 Marshall Street. Ratliff Enterprises operates the Redwood City Telephone Answering Service, which embraces the Sequoia District Physicians Exchange. It also operates the Peninsula Ambulance Service and the Peninsula Hospital Rental Service. Its ambulances respond to 500 calls monthly. The County of San Mateo subsidizes peninsula Ambulance Service.

Its rental service rents out anything needed for the care of patients in the home…such things as oxygen, refrigerated tents, wheel chairs, therapy lamps, traction equipment and beds.

The officers of the corporation are Ralph H. Ratliff, president: his wife Irene I. Ratliff: vice president their two sons and a daughter, K. Harold Ratliff and Ralph J. Ratliff, and Mrs. Virginia Collins, directors. Mrs. Ratliff manages the answering service with Mrs. Collins as the assistant manager. Harold is the manager and bookkeeper of the ambulance and rental divisions.

Mateo County uses a subsidy system with Peninsula Ambulance Service so they could discontinue their own emergency ambulance service. If the company couldn't collect from individuals, the county would reimburse them $20 per call for all service ordered through police systems. Most calls came through the Sheriffs Office.

In 1960 Peninsula Ambulance received a subsidy of $18,000, a considerable savings compared to what it would have cost to operate their own system. Ambulance employees were taught advanced Red Cross first aid, basic obstetrics and oxygen therapy.

As to obstetrics, Ralph Ratliff personally delivered 10 babies while working shifts with his ambulance crews, three of these births occurred in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. It just happened that 10 mothers waited until the very last minute. Unlike in the storybooks, none of the babies were named after him.

The ambulance fees are $25 per call plus supplies used at the accident scene like splints and oxygen, and $12.50 if a second patient on a stretcher was involved. A third person with minor injuries could ride with the driver for free.

Family Members

See more Ratliff memorials in:





  • Created by: Michael Ratliff Lutz
  • Added: 30 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79559519
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ralph Harold Ratliff (5 Nov 1903–16 Mar 1963), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79559519, ; Maintained by Michael Ratliff Lutz (contributor 47625801) Body donated to medical science, who reports a He willed his body to Stanford Medical School.