Carl D. Ratcliff
September 16, 1934 – July 4, 2020
Carl D. Ratcliff, age 85, of Fontana, California passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2020. Carl Ratcliff was born in Anaheim, California on September 16,1934.
During WWII when he was a young boy he lived in Long Beach, CA, and while he was in elementary school, he would see planes flying overhead. Our anti-aircraft guns would appear and would be ready for attack. He thought they were under attack by the Japanese; as it turned out they were our planes in the sky, much to his relief.
His family would move often throughout the years. they finally settled in Fontana on a 5-acre farm, where they raised chickens, pigs, calves, and raised their own produce garden. Carl often talked about how blessed they were to have food at a time when a lot of people didn't know how they were going to feed their family.
Carl would talk about how his brother John and he would take care of the farm when their father and mother would go to work during the war.
As each of them became 17 years of age they decided to join the Navy during the time of the Korean War. He joined September 18, 1951 before he had finished high school. Even though his brother and he never saw each other during that time, they would write to each other.
One of the letters that his brother john wrote to him was about the time john was on a minesweeper. As they were raising the anchor, a mine from WWII was attached to it. They were thankful that it was a dud.
Carl was stationed at many ports along our coast. On the transport ship that he was on, he had made 11 round trips across the Pacific Ocean; getting to spend some time in pearl harbor, Korea, Japan and the Philippines. One of these times when they crossed the international Date Line. they literals had two Christmases.
One of the ships he was stationed on was called the Ajax. It was a repair ship that was went to a lot of different places in 1954. During his tour of duty, he was awarded the rolling medals: The China Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal. And the United Nation Service.
He was honorably discharged on September 13, 1955. Carl headed for home, hot his High school diploma, and got married, one year later he had his son David.
Carl would go on to work at Kaiser steel making $2.25 an hour; then he began a career at Rohr Industries making $1.80 an hour, he was the one to see. During his time there he was laid off for two years and drove a taxi to pay the bills, he was hard working and, providing for his family was important to him.
When he retired 42 years later, he and Margie; his wife, took to traveling, they went on cruises and tours to Alaska and Europe. Carl also worked as a Fontana Place Department volunteer, he would take the police vehicles to get washed and cruise around looking for city hazards, like the streetlights that were out, or broken street signs. He enjoyed his time so much with the police department that he requested he be buried in his police volunteer uniform.
In his later years when he wasn't as mobile, he enjoyed watching WWE wrestling, playing solitaire on the computer and visits from his family. Carl loved his grandchildren very much, he used to joke that they were his favorite grandchildren, to which they would respond: "But grandpa, we're your only grandchildren!"
Visits to gramps always consisted of his favorite foods, like McDonalds cheeseburgers, fries, and apple pie or Kentucky Fried Chicken. The highlight of these visits was Himotat; the little stray dog the family had taken in, Carl loved seeing that dog.
Carl was loving, kind, generous and had a wonderful sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.greenacresmortuary.com for the Ratcliff family.
Green Acres Memorial Park