Gastonia – Wayne Kenneth Ratchford, Sr., 90, passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at the Robin Johnson House.
He was born October 30, 1931, in Gaston County, NC. He was the son of the late Clarence and Edo Froneberger Ratchford. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Vicki R. Cloninger; his grandchildren, Travis Crowe and Emily Cloninger; his siblings, Thelma Jenkins, Carolyn Miller, and Ray Ratchford; and the mother of his children, Claudette Moody Ratchford.
Ken received his AB at Lenoir Rhyne College, his MA at Appalachian State University, and his Advanced Administrative Degree at the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill. Ken proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, and he was attending Bethlehem (City Church) for many years. Ken was very involved in his community during his lifetime. He served as Past President of Dallas Optimist Club, Commissioner of Little League Baseball, Past President of Antioch Lutheran Church Council, Dallas, N.C., and Past President of Our Savior Lutheran Church Council, Dallas, N.C.
Ken began his teaching career in 1956; he also served as the School Principal at Rhyne Elementary and Robinson Elementary. Ken was a member of the American Association of School Administrators, Member of Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Member of North Carolina Education Association for Administrators, member of Gaston County Association of Education Office Personnel, Past Chairman of School Masters Association, and Past President of Gaston County Parent Teachers Association Council.
Ken received numerous awards including District and Regional Principal of the Year in 1976, North Carolina Association of Educational Office Personnel "Boss of the Year" in 1983, and Human Relations Award in 1980 and 1983. Ken retired as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Development for Gaston County Schools from 1983-1991. He served the Gaston County School System with 35 years of dedicated service.
Survived by his wonderful children, Kenny Ratchford (Catherine M. Fuentes), Roxann R. Jimison (Scott), Roma R Byrd ( Rogie); his companion and soul mate, Cindy Roberts; step-children, Scott Reese (Becca), David Reese (Sherri); grandchildren, Amy Payne, Danielle Walls, Devin Saunders, Chad Burtrum, Jayson Burtrum, Laura Ratchford, Kinley Ratchford, Ryan Posey. Aaron, Burcham, MacKayla Reese, Margaret and Mary Fuentes; great-grandchildren, Taylor and Austin Strandridge, Kailey and Ayden Butler, Blake and Sydnee Walls; great-great-grandchildren, Alexia, Haley, Stephanie, Anna Belle, and Chad Burtrum, Jr., Talon and McKenna, and dear family friend Kay Withers.
A Celebration of Life service will be at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 14th at The City Church, (Bethlehem) 3100 City Church Street, Gastonia NC 28056 with Pastor John Whitaker officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Kenneth Ratchford, Sr. Scholarship, Dream Center Academy, 635 South Myrtle School Road, Gastonia, NC 28052.
Condolences may be made to www.withersandwhisenantfuneral.com
Withers and Whisenant Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 2916 Union Road, Gastonia 704-864-5144 is serving the Family.
To view the Memorial Tribute please use the following link: http://videos.lifetributes.com/1186807