Feb 23, 1929 – Jan 22, 2018
Clifford (Cliff) Ratzlaff, aged 88, drew his final breath on the morning of January 22, 2018 at Abbotsford Regional Hospital following a brief illness.
Cliff was born February 23, 1929 in Waldheim, Saskatchewan. He was the youngest of seven brothers and one sister. After High School, Cliff earned his teaching certificate. At 18 he was assigned his own school house and began to teach. His love of education led him to the University of Saskatchewan, where he met the love of his life, Jeanette Anderson.
Cliff and Jeanette married in 1952, and graduated with Bachelor Degrees. The next 15 years would be spent teaching in Zimbabwe, Africa with TEAM. Cliff used his furloughs to further his education, acquiring a M.Sc. and a Ph.D.. Cliff and Jeanette’s children, Judi and Barry, were adopted on home leaves as well. After leaving Zimbabwe, Dad taught at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1972, he moved his family to Abbotsford, British Columbia, settling in Bradner.
In Abbotsford Cliff opened the first private counselling service in the area, and did contract work for the Salvation Army and BC Corrections. Dad was an accomplished singer and organ player, and sang countless times all over Canada. A prolific writer, Cliff authored five books in his retirement along with many essays.
Cliff loved playing his beloved, custom-built concert organ. He was constantly upgrading the speakers to create a bigger, fuller sound. Dad and Mom’s worlds were irreparably shaken by the death of their daughter Judi in 1999.
Cliff was predeceased by his six brothers, John, Albert, Will, Herb, Art and Ed, as well as his daughter Judi and infant son Timothy.
He is survived by one sister, Betty, wife Jeanette, son Barry (Jana), and his grandchildren, Judah, Joshua (Meesha), Joel and Kylie. Dad, I hope you get your heavenly pipe organ. Cliff Ratzlaff, “A Student of Being”, will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
A memorial service for Cliff will be held at Bradner Community Hall, Sunday February 11, 2018, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.
Donations can be made to the Abbotsford Community Foundation (Judi Ratzlaff Memorial Scholarship).
Cliff will be interred at the Salem Cemetery in Waldheim.