Margaret Cecile “Peggy” Ratliff


October 13, 1932 – February 3, 2020
Margaret Cecile “Peggy” Ratliff is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, three brothers and one sister. On October 13, 1932, Shirley and Helen Elliott McLarty of Vernon, Texas gave birth to their daughter, Margaret.
At a very young age she was nicknamed “Peggy” by her Uncle Joe, which is how she was known for the rest of her life.
Although Peggy was born in Vernon, Texas she spent her early years on a farm in Rayland, Texas with her brothers and sisters. During her school years the family moved several times due to her father’s work. They finally moved to Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas where Peggy attended Sunset High School.
Peggy was an outstanding student and had a great desire to do well in school. She loved to read, had an amazing ability to write and was on the Debate team. After her high school graduation, she attended Arlington State College majoring in english and history.
Before Peggy completed her degree at Arlington State College, she met William James “Bill” Ratliff in Dallas, Texas. They were married on November 1, 1952 in Rockwall, Texas. Two children were born in Dallas, a girl, Helen Ann and a boy, Williams James Ratliff, II. Bill taught school in Dallas until 1957 and Peggy stayed home with their two children.
Peggy and Bill moved to Houston where Bill continued his teaching career. During this time, they had another child, Mildred Jane. Peggy enjoyed staying home and raising her children while they were young. Having grown up on a farm she had the love of working in the yard instilled in her. She always had numerous flower beds and a large vegetable garden. When her oldest daughter, Helen Ann, turned seven, she organized and became the leader of a 4-H Club where she taught many girls how to cook and sew. Her 4-H Club always excelled and brought home numerous blue ribbons at all competitions.
Once the children were in elementary school, Peggy furthered her education taking computer and accounting courses. After finishing these courses, she decided to enter the workforce. She started at General Tire and Rubber Company in Houston as a bookkeeper then transferred to Stewart & Stevenson. She later moved to Texas International Airlines as an accountant, which she really enjoyed because it gave the family opportunities to fly.
In 1970, after her husband received his master’s degree in Administration, the family moved to Sour Lake, Texas where Bill took a position as a Principal of Hardin Jefferson Elementary. Since Peggy missed working, she decided to open her own fabric store and go into business for herself. She worked at the fabric store side-by-side with her daughter Helen.
After two years in Sour Lake, the family moved to Rockport, Texas where Bill was Principal of Rockport Elementary for nine years and Elementary Curriculum Director for three. During this time Peggy went to work for Vermillion Construction as an accountant and office manager.
In 1995, Peggy and Bill moved to Aransas Pass, Texas where Bill became Principal of H. T. Faulk Elementary School. Peggy left Vermillion when they moved and was offered a position with Rockport Yacht & Supply Company, or RYSCO, as controller of the company. She enjoyed working at RYSCO and traveling with the company until retirement.
In 1997, Peggy and Bill moved to Dale, Texas to retire. After having worked for many years they found it hard to retire, so they started their own business, Mountain Laurel Specialties. With the help of their daughter, Helen, they made gourmet jams and jellies from the wild and wood crafts, which they sold at craft shows.
Peggy and Bill stayed busy with their fruit trees, garden, and crafts and were also active members of Lytton Springs United Methodist Church.
When Bill passed away in 2013, Peggy moved to Houston to live with her daughter Helen. Peggy enjoyed visiting with her granddaughters, Leilani and Holly, and spending time with Leilani’s five children. Peggy and Helen enjoyed putting in flower gardens, watching mystery shows, taking care of their dogs, going places and spending hours looking through picture albums and reminiscing. In 2019, Peggy and Helen moved back to Dale, Texas where they were able to enjoy the peace of the country.
Peggy’s life was filled with love and affection for her husband, Bill, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lytton Springs United Methodist Church
8440 FM 1854, Lytton Springs, TX 78616
Saturday, February 22, 2020 – 1:00 PM
To view and sign the guest book, visit


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