Posted by Michael Ratliff Lutz on Monday, November 02, 2009 at 07:15:58 :
Ralph H. Ratliff, front-page news in the Redwood City Tribune on March 18, 1963:
Ralph H. Ratliff, whose Peninsula Ambulance Service has provided Redwood City’s emergency transportation for 19 years died Saturday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Ratliff, 59, came here in 1939 to establish a garage and towing service at the corner of Main Street and Old Bayshore.
In 1944, Mickey Collins, then chief of police, told Mr. Ratliff that the community should be provided with some kind of ambulance service. Mr. Ratliff decided to go into the business. He began with one vehicle and today, with headquarters at 1260 Marshall St., has five.
A native of Springfield (actually Tallula), Ill., Mr. Ratliff came to Redwood City from San Francisco. He has been identified with many civic activities throughout the years, notably as the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Highway and Traffic Committee. It was for this group that he campaigned for the widening of Jefferson Ave. and Woodside Rd., the extension of Edgewood Rd. to Half Moon Bay, and many of the local provisions of the local in the proposed city-county highway bond issue.
Mr. Ratliff also was a member of the Redwood City Exchange club, Redwood City Elks lodge, Modern Woodmen of the World and United Commercial Travelers. He was a charter member and past president of the California Ambulance Association, and was awarded a 20-year pin as a first aide instructor by the Red Cross.
Mr. Ratliff’s family will continue to run the ambulance firm.
Survivors include his widow, Irene, at the family home, 1007 Katherine St.; Sons Ralph J., Menlo Park and Harold K., Redwood City; a daughter; Mrs. Virginia Collins, Los Altos and a son by a previous marriage, Ralph H. Ratliff Jr. of Los Angeles. A Sister, Mrs. Mardel (Ratliff) Womer resides in Redwood City. There are 15 grandchildren.
Private Funeral Services were held at Lyng & Tinney Funeral Home, 717 Jefferson Ave. Mr. Ratliff willed his body to Stanford Medical School for research.
The family prefers contributions to the American Cancer Society, 1517 South B St., San Mateo.
Redwood City Tribune March 25, 1963:
Ralph H. Ratliff, A Valuable Citizen
It was no longer news to his friends when it appeared in Monday’s paper that Ralph H. Ratliff had succumbed. Mr. Ratliff had been stricken with cancer more than a year ago, and hope for survival disappeared long ago but Mr. Ratliff refused to give up.
He knew that there were many jobs to be done, and he was going to do his best to get some results while he was still able to do so.
Mr. Ratliff was one of the developers of an excellent ambulance for Peninsulans. He wasn’t merely satisfied to transport to the hospital; he became an expert in first aide and his careful handling of patients was in many cases the difference between life and death.
Mr. Ratliff didn’t confine himself to matter involving his own profession. He was civic minded, and in this too he put in his best effort. Hi thorough study of Redwood City’s street and traffic problems, made at the request of the Chamber of Commerce, has been used as a model by both city and county governments in planning for the future.
Much of his best work came after he knew that he would never be able to shake the cancer that was spreading through his body.
This effort and enthusiasm ….the will to keep working for the public’s benefit even while knowing that he would reap none of the benefits…made Ralph H. Ratliff one of Redwood City’s most valuable citizens.
The entire community shares with his family this deep loss.
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