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Donald Frederick Ratliff Obituary

Donald Frederick Ratliff passed from this life Thursday, July 20, 2023, at his home in Jenks, Okla., at the age of 79.

Donald Frederick Ratliff was born on Aug. 18, 1943, in Ponca City, Okla., to Euel and Mary Jane (Burnett) Ratliff. He passed from this life Thursday, July 20, 2023, at his home in Jenks, Okla., at the age of 79.

He was raised and educated in Ponca City. He was drafted into the Army in 1965. During his military training he twice earned the award of high marksman and went on to be a weapons specialist. He served in Vietnam in 1966 with Big Red 1 and had special assignments with other units. He had a love for cars and music and became proficient at both the guitar and drums and had the opportunity to play with most of the legends of the 50s, 60s and 70s. He also raced at Tulsa Fairgrounds Speedway in the super modified division in the 70s.

Don was married on June 16, 1972, in Miami, Okla., to the love of his life, Joan Dean Winters. They had two children, Scott and Shelby. He spent most of his work life in retail, largely in the bowling business having different shops over the years including the first shop at Rose Bowl of Tulsa in 1961. As a bowler he went on to compete at the highest levels, achieving thirty-four 300 games, ranging in years from 1963 to 2011. He was inducted into the Tulsa Area Hall of Fame in 2012.

Those he leaves behind that hold many cherished memories include son, Scott Winters and his wife April of Tulsa; daughter, Shelby Woodward and her husband Larry Joe Swaggerty, Jr. of Tulsa; brother, Jeff Nance and his wife Casey of Hominy; six grandchildren, Kyle Sherrill of Tulsa, Ryann Woodward of Jenks, Afton and Avery Shell (Winters) of Broken Arrow, Addison and Robby Winters of Tulsa in addition to many friends and colleagues in both the racing and bowling communities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Euel Ratliff and Mary Jane Nance and his wife of 48 years, Joan.

A come and go visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, 2023, at Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow, Okla. Military honors and the presentation of the flag will be held at approximately 2 p.m.


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