Walter D. Ratchford, age 89, passed away peacefully at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center on March 30, 2022. He was born in Copley, Ohio, to Walter Patrick Ratchford and Eleanor Elizabeth Reese.
His was a life well lived. Walt loved his family, was proud of his children, had many great friends, and was lucky to have found the love of his life. He made a positive impact in our world, and we have many fantastic memories to help us now that he’s gone. Walt wrote his obituary a few months ago. In his words, this is his last message for us.
“I don’t know where I will be when you read this. I have believed in a lot of things in my life. The most important is I don’t know any of them for sure. I believe there is more than one God – maybe brothers – reincarnation, ESP, predestination, and guardian Angels. If I become one, I’ll try to be good to you. If I can, I will let you know where I am.
“I was the father of two great children, who are very special – my Moose and my Mouse. I was a Sergeant in the US Air Force during the Korean War. I’ve had a great life and enjoyed all of it.
“I started my career at Rohr Aircraft as a jig and fixture builder and retired after 32 years as a Project Manufacturer Engineer. I made a lot of close good friends and made life happier for the people I associated with.
“I wrote a book, How to Be a Successful Bachelor, I was a cruise ship host, water skied, snow skied, played softball and tennis and was president of the 60-member Mesa (AZ) Motorcycle-Dirt Bikes Club.
“I was able to help countless numbers of people with my Senior and Veterans Guides, and my ‘Letters to the Editors” saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
“The last 21 years of my life with Cherrill were my best. She was the love of my life.
“Do not mourn me. I am thankful for a good life and everyone who was in it.”
Walt was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Patrick Michael Ratchford and grandson Nicholas Hill.
He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia M. Hill of Chula Vista, CA; grandchildren Joshua Hill and Stephen Siaw; great grandchildren Sophia Citlali Hill and Noah Hill; brother James P. Ratchford of Ukiah, CA; sisters Denise (Sandy) Ratchford of Barberton, OH, and Gloria Brock of Las Vegas, NV; niece Viktoria M. Ratchford and nephew Erik P. Ratchford.