Celebrating the life of Dennis Ratcliff
More than 600 people farewelled much-loved Corowa identity Dennis Ratcliff at his favourite place, the Corowa RSL Club, on Friday morning.
Dennis was remembered as a devoted member of the community, loving husband, father and grandfather.
Mourners were asked to do their best to not shed tears, but rather celebrate the life that was so honourably and actively enjoyed by Dennis.
Over the years Dennis was involved in the community through work with many different groups and events, such as legacy, the CISS team, teaching art classes, varied positions at the local high school, Anzac services, debutante balls and billy cart races , just to mention a few.
Dennis was born to Leslie and Olive Rat- cliff on November 19, 1947 in Paddington, NSW.
He grew up in Tallimba on a sheep and wheat farm with his parents, three brothers Geoffrey, Neville and David and sister Jenny.
At the age of 17 he left the farm to join the army.
He met the love of his life Sandra when he was 18 years old on a blind date where afterwards Sandra proceeded to go home, throw a shoe at her sister, Karen to wake her up and tell her “I’m going to marry that man”.
Dennis and Sandra married two years later on June 29, 1968, a mere three weeks before he left to serve in the Vietnam War.
More than 360 hand-written letters were shared by the pair over the year before Dennis returned from Vietnam in July 1969 to Holsworthy army barracks.
Dennis and Sandra had two children Jason in 1970 and Renee 1973.
He held a position in RAEME for another eight years (1977) before moving to Stanmore in Sydney to begin his career as a firefighter.
He transferred three years later to Wagga Wagga to the Turvey Park fire station. After 15 years he left the fire brigade to become a fire control officer in Corowa and Berrigan Shire in 1994.
The community of Corowa and surrounds was saddened by news of the passing of Dennis Ratcliff on February 13.
A guard of honour was formed to farewell Dennis Ratcliff at his funeral on Friday.
Dennis John Ratcliff - November 19, 1947 – February 13, 2017.