CMSGT Russel Ratley, USAF (Ret.)
On February 18, 2023, we lost an incredible husband, father and PopPop. Brent, age 52, lived an incredible life and will be deeply missed and remembered by those who loved him.
Brent was born March 9, 1970, in Fayetteville, Tennessee to June and the late Ronald Ratley. He grew up in Union Hill, Alabama, and attended Brewer High School, where he met his high school sweetheart at the age of 15. After high school, Brent would go on to enlist in the United States Air Force in June of 1988. He then went on to serve almost 25 years where he made a significant impact on those he worked with. His background includes various duties in operations and maintenance units as both an airborne and ground radar technician, including a tour as an instructor for the system test and development at the Northrop Gruman Corporation. He also completed a tour as a Professional Military Education Instructor. His assignments have included bases in Mississippi, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia. He has deployed in support of numerous operations including Desert Shield, Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom, accumulating over 1,100 combat and combat support flight hours. Chief Ratley holds Chief Enlisted Aircrew wings with over 3,400 total flight hours in the E-3B/C Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and E-8C JSTARS aircraft. His major awards and decorations included Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Air Force Achievement Medal.
Brent was a devoted husband, father and PopPop who loved his family more than anything. He was his children’s biggest fan and supported them through coaching soccer, T-Ball and being a huge cheer and band dad. He lovingly called them his 3 C’s. Seeing them grow up to be successful adults was one of his proudest accomplishments. He was a passionate Alabama fan who never missed a game. He loved family vacations, wood working, and spending as much time as he could with his grandbabies. He attended Bonaire Church and lived a life that reflected Christ. He was on the Board of Directors at Christ School and had a large impact on the faculty, students, and families there.
In addition to his father, Brent was preceded in death by grandparents, Garland and Georgia Ratley, and Emmit and Hazel Hunkeapillar; along with his father and mother-in-law, Tim and Wilma Adamson.
His memory will forever be treasured by his loving wife of almost 35 years, Lisa Ratley; children, Cody Ratley (Haley), Caitlin Meador (Brett), and Carson Ratley (Ben); grandchildren, Cohen Ratley, Kennedi Ratley, and Willa Kate Meador; mother, June Ratley; sister, Stacey Ratley; along with many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Visitation will be Wednesday, February 22, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the McCullough Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2023, in the chapel of McCullough Funeral Home. Afterward, Brent will be laid to rest with full military honors in Andersonville National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests memorial donations be given in memory of Russel Brent Ratley to Christ School at P.O. Box 9500 Warner Robins, GA 31095.
Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the Online Registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Russel Brent Ratley, please visit our flower store.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
5:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
McCullough Funeral Home
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
Chapel of McCullough Funeral Home