Rayford Allen Ratliff was born into this life August 28, 1940, to Allen and Mable Ratliff in Rotan, Texas. He went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Thanksgiving morning, November 26, 2020. Private family burial will be held at the Hay Creek Ranch Family Cemetery in the family plot under the direction of Beeson~Morrison Funeral Directors.
Mr. Ratliff graduated from Rotan High School in 1958 and from Hardin Simmons University in 1963. In 1963-64 and 1965 he taught in the Dumas and Hereford Public Schools. Graduating from the University of Texas Law School in Austin with a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree, he was admitted to the Texas Bar in May of 1968. He was awarded the 50 year lawyer award in 2018.
He had practiced law as an Amarillo Assistant City Attorney, and had been an associate with the Lovell, Lyle, Cobb law firm in their Clarendon and Dumas office. For three years he practiced law in Granbury, Texas, before returning to Dumas to set up a private practice. Elected as Moore County Judge in 1975 and as County Attorney in 1980, he continued in that capacity before retiring in January 2005. He also maintained a private law practice in Dumas.
Since 1973 he had been ranch manager for Bennetts Hay Creek Ranch until becoming owner in 2000. He was one of the first ranchers in the area to raise cross-bred Santa Gertrudis cattle. The ranch has continued to be a cow-calf operation until the present.
He maintained a fifteen-year membership in the College of the State Bar and was named a Fellow in January 2005. Rayford was licensed to practice law in Federal Court and was a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas. Formerly he had been a member of the Christian Legal Society, the Singing Men of the Texas Panhandle, and was the original legal counsel during the formation of the Dumas Area Crisis Pregnancy Center.
At age fifteen, Rayford began leading music at small Baptist churches and continued his bi-vocational ministry for over 59 years. Most recently he had led the singing at Hartley Baptist Church from 1994 to 2001 and was a Childrens Choir Leader at First Baptist Church in Dumas. He had been a member of First Baptist Church since 1983. From 1973 to 1983 he was Interim Minister of Music at Calvary Baptist in Dumas.
Survivors include his wife, Susie, of the home; a daughter and son-in-law, Dena and Carey Dyer of Granbury a son and daughter-in-law, Will and Julie Ratliff of Amarillo, three grandsons, Jordan Ray Dyer and Jackson Wade Dyer of Granbury and Noah Bennett Ratliff of Amarillo, and one granddaughter, Molly Elizabeth Ratliff of Amarillo, a brother, Don and Jan Ratliff of Arkansas, two sisters, Gay Nell and H.V. OBrian of Eastland, Texas and Carolyn Clements of Canyon Lake, California; fourteen nieces and nephews, and 28 great nieces and nephews.
Rayford was preceded in death by his father, Anderson Allen Ratliff, his mother, Mable Rogers, and his step-father, Ted Rogers.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the Dumas Area Crisis Pregnancy Center, 1315 Zauk Ave, Dumas, Texas or The First Baptist Church Childrens Music Ministry, Box 617, Dumas, Texas 79029.
The family requests that you write any personal memories of Rayford you would like to share and send it to: the Ratliff Family, Box 563, Dumas, Texas 79029. T hey will be bound into a book of memories.
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