Cover photo for Brownie Ratliff's Obituary
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1929 Brownie 2024

Brownie Ratliff

June 17, 1929 — February 5, 2024

Savannah


Brownie Arvis Ratliff (1929-2024) 

Brownie Arvis Ratliff, 94, lifelong resident of Morris Chapel, TN, went home to his Heavenly Father on February 5, 2024. He was a devoted Christian, Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Brownie was a full-time farmer, raising hogs and row cropping cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat throughout the years in the fields of Hardin County, TN. Son Buddy and grandson Nick stayed on the farm and farmed with Brownie and continue today. Born to the late Robert and Faudie Ratliff, June 17, 1929, in the Hookers Bend Community of Morris Chapel, Brownie was the only boy among seven sisters. He met the love of his life, Oma Jean Matlock, as he watched her play basketball at Morris Chapel High School in January, 1951. He told his friends that night he was going to marry that beautiful little girl. They sat together and became acquainted during the boy's basketball game. Shortly after that “first date” Brownie was called away to join the Army during the Korean War. On his return from his service in the Army, Brownie brought with him an engagement ring. They married on October 11, 1952, and were married 64 years until her passing June 17, 2017, his 88th birthday. They settled down in the Hookers Bend community prior to moving to Morris Chapel in the fall of 1955. They started farming and raising a large family of six boys and two girls. Brownie’s decades of farming changed drastically over those years, from first plowing with mules to the modern John Deere air-conditioned tractors and combines he drove until last year. He had continued to farm until he suffered a stroke on May 31, 2023, while mowing his yard. The stroke left him paralyzed on his left side. 

Family was everything to Brownie and Oma Jean. As they would tell everyone, they had three boys and a girl, and then three more boys and a girl. He leaves behind a huge legacy of eight children, 17 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren with two more on the way. The children oldest to youngest are Robert Ratliff (the late Wanda) of Cary, NC; Marvin Ratliff (Cheryl) of Morris Chapel, TN; Buddy Ratliff (Mitzi) of Morris Chapel, TN; Sandra Ratliff Hackett (Shawn) of Muscle Shoals, AL; David Ratliff (Mickie) of Sevierville, TN; Douglas Ratliff (Betsy) of Tullahoma, TN; Tom Ratliff (Kathy) of Morris Chapel, TN; and Rose Ratliff Qualls of Savannah, TN. The 17 grandchildren in order are Amanda, Drew, Josh, Nick, Janey, April, Craig, Ashley, Melody, Shelby, Savannah, Michael, Hunter, Caroline, Taylor, Brittany, and Hannah. The 13 great-grandchildren in order are Amber Grace, Gavin, Elijah, Ryder, Drake, Annabelle, Alexis, Owen, William, Annabelle, Miller, Adeline, and Vienna. 

Brownie has one surviving sister, Mattie Sue Thomas, of Vicksburg, MS. The sisters he has joined in Heaven are Ouida Mae Ratliff Love Cockrill, Maxine Ratliff Brooks, Jewell Ratliff Hughes, Marie Ratliff Erwin, Frankie Ratliff Johnson, and Junell Ratliff White. 

Having seven sisters and Oma Jean having nine siblings, the nieces and nephews are too numerous to count. 

Brownie also leaves behind his special friend and companion, Katie Franks, of Savannah, TN. A special thank you to Dr. Jim Thomas and his staff along with the AHC Savannah Nursing Home staff for the excellent care he received over the last several months of his life. 

Having never met a stranger, Brownie could strike up a conversation with anyone and talk for hours; thus, all friends, extended family, and strangers are encouraged to join the family in celebrating the life of this Pillar of the Community. 

Visitation will be Friday, February 9 at 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm (4:00 pm for family) and Saturday, February 10, at 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Shackelford Funeral Directors, 450 Church St, Savannah, TN 38372. The Funeral Service will be at 2:00 pm at Shackelford. Burial will be at the Matlock Family Cemetery adjacent to the House of Mercy Church, 29625 Highway 69, Morris Chapel, TN 38361. The cemetery is directly across the highway from the Ratliff Family Home. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Brownie Ratliff, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 9, 2024

5:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Savannah

450 Church Street, Savannah, TN 38372

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, February 10, 2024

10:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Savannah

450 Church Street, Savannah, TN 38372

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Shackelford Funeral Directors - Savannah

450 Church Street, Savannah, TN 38372

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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