Caroline Ratcliffe


December 13, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Caroline Barnett Copening Ratcliffe, 67, Lexington, Mo., died Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, at Research Medical Center Hospice in Kansas City, Mo.
Caroline was born Sept. 9, 1947, in Iola, to Ruth and Lawrence Copening. She attended Iola public schools, graduating from Iola High School, where she was a member of the school band. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in Spanish from Kansas State University, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.
Caroline married Sam Ratcliffe in 1970 in Fort Riley. She lived in Kentucky, Georgia, Okinawa, Japan, and Miami, Fla., before moving to Lexington. Caroline was active in Scouting as a Girl Scout, a Girl Scout Troop Leader in Missouri, Okinawa, Georgia and Florida, a Cub Scout leader and Boy Scout district committee chairman in Miami. She earned the Girl Scout Curved Bar and the Boy Scout Silver Beaver awards. While in Miami, she worked in the Dade County Juvenile Justice System as a facilitator. Prior to retirement, she was the department chair of the College Humanities Department at Wentworth Military Academy and College, where she taught high school and junior college Spanish and was coach of the high school academic team. As an instructor at Wentworth, she was twice recognized as the Instructor of the Year, received the Oliver Award for faculty dedication and professionalism, and the President’s Award for Commitment.
She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Sam Ratcliffe, of the home; sons Lt. Col. Robert and wife Jennifer, Fayetteville, N.C., Deputy Sheriff John and wife Jennifer, Gardner, and CW3 David, Savannah, Ga.; four grandchildren; and her sister, Martha Kellstrom, Manhattan. She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Ward Copening, and a grandson, Isaac Ratcliffe.
A remembrance service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements by: Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home, 1720 South St., Lexington, MO 64067.

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