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Harry Lawrence "Larry" Ratchford

October 4, 1952 - January 30, 2020

CORAL SPRINGS, FL- Major Harry Lawrence “Larry” Ratchford II, 67, passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2020. The son of Lt. Col. Ellis R. (Bud) and Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford, Larry, as he was affectionately known, was born on October 4, 1952 at Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie. Larry graduated from Muncie Centra…READ MORE

CORAL SPRINGS, FL- Major Harry Lawrence “Larry” Ratchford II, 67, passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2020. The son of Lt. Col. Ellis R. (Bud) and Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford, Larry, as he was affectionately known, was born on October 4, 1952 at Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie. Larry graduated from Muncie Central High School in 1970. He received his BS in Political Science from Ball State University 1973, as well as studies at Valencia College, University of Central Florida and Ohio State University. Larry followed his fathers’ love for flying (mom’s not so much as she had been in 3 plane crashes while serving in WWII) learned to fly while still in high school at Reese Aviation training on a Piper and Cherokee airplanes. As well, Larry loved learning to fly on his family’s Beechcraft Bonanza plane alongside his father. While in college he was President of the University Flying Club. Upon graduation from college, Larry joined the United States Air Force and shortly thereafter was admitted to Officer Pilot Training School at Williams AFB. While in the USAF he was trained as a Tactical Fighter Pilot, C5 and KC135 Tanker Pilot. In 1988, Larry’s final promotion was to Major, United States Air Force. He had a “Top Secret Clearance” and among other awards, he received the National Defense Service Medal. Larry enjoyed the travel that the USAF afforded him to spend time in Japan, Germany, England and Turkey. In 1994, he received his Honorable Discharge from the USAF. Larry continued in his passion for flying after leaving the Air Force flying as Pilot for Piedmont Airlines, Florida Express and Red Roof Inns (flying Bobby Rahal on the Indy car circuit). Larry transitioned full time into the private sector, flying as pilot around the world in a Sabreliner for a private company whose passenger list included Elizabeth Taylor, Senator Bob Dole, General Schwarzkopf, Margaret Thatcher and many other celebrities. Those pictures standing by the plane were just some of the memories Larry treasured. Larry was also a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Licensed Real Estate Appraiser in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area.
Larry was an accomplished pianist beginning lessons at 3 years of age. He was a natural as he had the gift of playing by ear as well as reading music. He was the accompanist for numerous vocal choirs while at McKinley Jr. High & Muncie Central HS. In the 60’s and 70’s, he played for his band The Lancaster’s, Up With People and First Baptist Church. Later, he enjoyed playing for the residents of Westminster Village while he visited his mother. He continued his love for swimming and sailing that was learned from an early age at Camp Crosley, Muncie YMCA and Catalina Swim Club.
Mr. Ratchford is survived by his mother, Mary Melva Ratchford; three siblings, Jo Ratchford Boyce (husband, Scot), Muncie, IN, Gary Lee Ratchford, Pompano Beach, FL, and Robert (Bob) Ratchford (wife, Polly), Muncie, IN.
In addition, Larry is survived by his nieces and nephews; Elizabeth Quinn Kinney (Doug) Cincinnati, OH, Samantha Jo Sloan (Mike), Fishers, IN, Anna Marie Ratchford, West Lafayette, IN, George C. (Corey) Wilkinson II (Britney) Orange, CA, Gavin Ellis Wilkinson, Chicago, IL, as well as many loving relatives in California, Florida and North Carolina.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lt. Col. Ellis (Bud) R. Ratchford, maternal grandparents Oviedo Ann Thornhill Creel, Seward Creel, paternal grandparents H.L Ratchford, Elma Fraze Ratchford and Uva Ratchford; aunts and uncles, Susie and Coy B Cannon, Milford (Fritz) Creel and Eleanor Grace Creel; first cousins Elizabeth Ann Rollins and Stanley Cannon.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 pm Saturday, February 29, 2020, at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, with Pastor Wade Allen officiating. Burial will follow in Elm Ridge Cemetery with Military Honors conducted by the U.S. Air Force and the Veterans of Delaware County Honor Guard.
Family and friends may call at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street., Muncie, from 11:00 am until service time at 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, IN 47305.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com.

HIDE

Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

First Baptist Church

Address:

309 E. Adams Street
Muncie, IN 47305


Service Information

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Time: 1:00 pm

First Baptist Church

Address:

309 E. Adams Street
Muncie, IN 47305


Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Elm Ridge Cemetery

Address:

4600 W. Kilgore Avenue
Muncie, IN 47304


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