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Mary Louise Wilbern Ratcliffe

of Sweet Home, AR, 1925 - 2016

MARY LOUISE WILBERN RATCLIFFE, 91, of Sweet Home, passed away peacefully on Jan. 7, 2016 at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock.
Ms. Mary was a leader in Arkansas Agriculture, leaving a legacy of stewardship that runs throughout the State.
She was born and raised in Sweet Home on the Granite Valley Dairy Farm which was homesteaded by her grandparents in the 1880s. She graduated from Little Rock High School and attended Little Rock Junior College earning a business degree. She and her husband, Bill operated Ratcliffe Farms and were named Farm Family of the year in 1963. When Bill passed away in 1973, she continued to lead a successful operation raising soybeans, cotton, and beef cattle and helped pave the way for women in agriculture.
Ms. Mary was named to the Board of Directors of the Pulaski County Conservation District in 1973 and was the first woman to serve as president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts. She served as president of the Pulaski County Farm Bureau and was elected to Arkansas Farm Bureau's state board of directors 1994-2001. In 2004, she was inducted in the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame.
She served on the Soybean Promotion Board; was a member of the board of directors of LeadAR, a member of the Pulaski County Extension Council, and Sweet Home Extension Homemakers.
She is preceded in death by her husband, W.A. "Bill" Ratcliffe; parents, Clarence and Annie Carlson Wilbern; and sister, Margaret Ann Wilbern.
She is survived by her children: John Maertens of Lewisville, Texas, Wilbern Maertens of Redding, Calif., Kathy Ratcliffe Koehler (Steve) of Little Rock, and W. Adam Ratcliffe (Deanna) of Bentonville; grandchildren: Lara Maertens Rhea, Courteney Ratcliffe Melancon (Paul), Hunter and MaryGrace Ratcliffe, Paul, Ben and Teddy Maertens; great-grandchildren, Juliana Rhea, and Taylor Melancon; and special friends Larry McDowell and Cassandra Sneed.
Visitation will be held Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Sweet Home, Ark. Memorial Service will be at 1 p.m. on Tuesday with a reception to follow at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72211, (501) 224-8300.
Memorials may be made to Primrose United Methodist Church, 3006 W. Dixon Road, Little Rock, AR 72206 or Arkansas 4H Foundation, 1 Four H Way, Little Rock, AR 72223.
Online guestbook:

Published January 11, 2016

Roller-Chenal Funeral Home
13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-224-8300