Rebecca Kiki Ratliff
April 6, 1960 – July 26, 2019
Rebecca Kiki Ratliff was born April 6th, 1960 at the University of Michigan Women’s Hospital. From that moment on she remained rooted in Ann Arbor soil, attending school at Burns Park Elementary, Tappan Middle School and finishing her primary education with a diploma from Pioneer High School in 1978. From there, Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Michigan University, followed up with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. He career started in earnest at the University of Michigan Hospital where she crossed paths with her husband to be, Matthew Morgan Thompson. After a four-year courtship Matt finally convinced her to marry and the two tied the knot on October 11, 1986. Rebecca and Matt affirmed their vows at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor, followed by a memorable reception at the Michigan Union, also in Ann Arbor. For reasons that remain a mystery to many, the two spent their honeymoon in Fenton, Michigan. After working at UofM Hospital as a supervisor, Rebecca signed on with the State of Michigan working in the prison system, eventually advancing to an assignment at the State Forensics Center where she remained until retiring. Rebecca and her husband Matt settled into a home in the same Burns Park neighborhood she grew up in. In 1996 she gave birth to James Justin, followed by his brother Nicholas Alexander in 2000. The family of four lived in a modest home on Woodlawn Avenue, just a stones’ throw from Grandma, Mother and Mother-in-Law Demetra, Preketes, Ratliff-Hammer. Being in close proximity to the family she loved was always important to Rebecca. For that reason, she was grateful that her brother Tony lived a mere 30 minutes away in nearby South Lyon, Michigan with his wife Stefanie and their three boys Alex, Luke and Mark. Rebecca also loved the summer gatherings with her Aunt Becky and her extended family at places like Mackinaw, Grand Haven, Petoskey and Hocking Hills, Ohio. Closer to home, she enjoyed long drives with her mother taking in the scenic vistas along Huron River Drive. Rebecca’s family and friends are shocked and saddened by her abrupt death. As we struggle through our grief, we are also blessed with memories of a devoted mother, a loving wife, sister and daughter, an energetic and wild-at-heart friend with a knack for making us all laugh. We are all wounded by the loss, but we are all better people for having known Rebecca Kiki Ratliff. Rebecca was preceded in death by her grandparents Anthony and Bessie Preketes, her father James Earl Ratliff and her step-father David Edward Hammer. A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date.