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Friday, January 8, 2021

Update Obituary - Barbara Ann Ratcliff

Barbara Ann Ratcliff, 85, of Drexel, Mo, passed away on January 2, 2021 at Shawnee Parc in Overland Park, KS after a two-year+ battle with cancer. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. Graveside services will immediately follow at Houstonia Cemetery, Houstonia, MO.

Barbara was born June 15, 1935, to Raymond and Mary Schondelmeyer, at their home in Houstonia, MO. She was the seventh child of eight. When she was very little she was voted “Little Miss Houstonia”. She attended Sedalia Smith-Cotton High School. Barbara attended Central Missouri State University and graduated with a B.S. in Business Education and minor in History the Spring of 1958. Several years later she obtained her master’s degree in Business Education.

She married the love her of her life, Gwen Ratcliff, on December 28, 1963 in a ceremony at Broadway Presbyterian church in Sedalia. The couple quickly added three children to their nest from 1964 to 1967. Their lives were busy while Gwen farmed and Barbara continued her teaching career, simultaneously shepherding their children through public school at Archie.

Barbara taught at various Missouri schools including Polo, William Chrisman, Drexel, and Miami teaching typing, shorthand, business and computer classes. She retired as a high school business teacher after nearly 39 years of teaching and touching lives along the way.

She was a dedicated member and served as secretary of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association for many years. She was voted as the distinguished Honorary Retired Teacher of the Year for 2020, but due to COVID-19, was not able to be presented with this award.

She was a long-time member of the Community of Christ Church in Harrisonville, MO. She served as Sunday School teacher, played the piano, and served countless meals and decorated many tables over the years. She enjoyed giving her time at Crown Care Center playing the piano (sometimes accompanied with singing by Mrs. Ruby Allen) and visiting with the retired folks. She was constantly giving and truly had a servant’s heart.

She spent her retirement years tending to her garden and flowers. She loved living in the country and watching God’s creation all around her. She never dwelled on the hard times, but relished in good memories. She loved being with her family and friends and never knew a stranger.

She was always decorating or making a craft. She enjoyed baking and taking treats or a hot bowl of soup to a neighbor. She always had extra gifts and toys on hand to give out.

Most of all, she loved being with her family and grandchildren. She spent many hours going to tea parties, picnics, dance recitals, band concerts, soccer and softball games, Boyscout events, and started a taffy business with her oldest grandson.

She was always a teacher at heart and taught her children and their children the value of hard-work, patience, humility, kindness, perseverance, tolerance, forgiveness, understanding, and how to have a lot of fun along the way! Most of all, she modeled unconditional love. She will always be remembered as a very loyal and loving person who truly enjoyed making and doing things for others.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers: Raymond, John, Bill, James, and Charles Schondelmeyer; and sisters: Mary Sissom and Virginia Bridges.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Gwen Ratcliff; son, Harold Ratcliff and wife, Dana; and their children: Alexis and Brayden, Argyle, TX; daughter, Starla Kinman and husband, Keith (KC); and their children: Katlyn, Casey, Adam, Whitney and Kyle, Omaha, NE; and son, Jerod Ratcliff and wife, Michele; and their children: Trevor and Olivia, Harrisonville, MO. She also is survived by her sister-in-law, Wanda Schondelmeyer, of Ballwin, MO. She also had several nieces, nephews, cousins, and people that she loved like they were her own family.

She will be missed by all that knew her