Cel­e­brat­ing the life of Den­nis Rat­cliff

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ALANNAH GREEN­WOOD

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.

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