May 17, 1938 – December 8, 2017
James Robert (Jim) Ratliff died peacefully on December 8, 2017, in Lubbock, Texas, fourteen years after a fall, which resulted in a brain injury.
Jim was dedicated to Lubbock, both the place and the people. After graduating from Lubbock High and Texas Tech, he worked in Dallas as a bank examiner before returning to Lubbock where he became a stockbroker, shared office space with his father, and handled family affairs. Jim made banking and investments his life-long career. He served on the Board of Citizens Bank before becoming Chairman of the Board of Whisperwood National Bank. He also served on the board of Plains Capital Bank.
Jim was a loyal Texas Tech Red Raider. In addition to being involved with several brothers in his Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, long after his Tech graduation, Jim served as President of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and was deeply involved with building the Merket Alumni Center. He enjoyed being a mentor for young people, providing not only his personal advice, but also scholarships through the Texas Tech Foundation and the Red Raider Club. He was a huge fan of Tech and continued to attend football and basketball games, even after his accident. Only a few weeks before Jim’s death he had a wonderful time at the Baylor football game in Dallas.
Jim was involved in many community activities. He played oboe with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and later became a two-term President of that organization’s Board. He was an active member of the Southwest Rotary Club, serving both as President and District Governor before being honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the Boards of the West Texas Museum Association and the West Texas Kidney Foundation, as well as the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Lubbock.
Jim was a gourmet cook who shared his love of the culinary arts by hosting meals in his home for friends and family. He especially enjoyed auctioning off “Dinners with Jim” to raise funds for various charities.
Jim was an avid traveler who loved experiencing other countries and cultures. He had many stories to tell about his adventures, such as crawling through tunnels in Vietnam or visiting China in 1981, when it had just opened its doors to the west.
Jim was very dedicated to his parents Carl and Juanita Ratliff, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister Suzanne Bryant of Austin and brother, David Ratliff of Lubbock. He is also survived by nieces Rachel Ratliff, Dawn Goodfriend, Ting Goodfriend, and nephew Eric Ratliff - as well as great-nieces Kira Ratliff and Yasmin Patel and great-nephew Kiran Patel.
More than anything, Jim was a loving friend and family member. Those who knew and loved him use words like “humble”, “dedicated” and “gracious” to describe this wonderful man. He lived a good life and will be missed by many.
A Memorial Service, to celebrate the life of Jim, will be held on Friday, December 15, 2018 at 4 PM at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 1501 University Ave in Lubbock.
In lieu of flowers, Jim’s request is that donations be sent to James R. “Jim” Ratliff Presidential Scholarship Endowment through the Texas Tech Foundation.
Friday, December 15, 2017