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Frank Ratcliff (1919-2012)

Founded Sooner Sign Co. in Oklahoma City

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Frank Ratcliff (1919-2012)
Frank Ratcliff, who founded Sooner Sign Co. in downtown Oklahoma City soon after World War II, died May 1. He ran this family business for the next 33 years, specialized in showcards, lettered vehicles and grain elevators, screenprinted signs, designed logos, gilded windows, and painted pictorials for realtors and rodeos, including 16 x 24-ft. banners for The National Head and Heel roping contest in Guthrie, OK. He retired in his 60s due to health reasons, although he was still known to freehand letter in his 70s.
      Frank was born February 28, 1919 in Ringwood, OK, as one of nine children. He and all four of his brothers served in WWII. “In the battlefields of France, he utilized war-battered equipment to make other vehicles and weapons combat-ready. His efforts were recognized by Gen. George S. Patton, who rewarded his mechanical skills on the spot with a hand shake, a salute and the Bronze Star,” recalled his son, Ronald “James” Ratcliff, who currently works for A&C Plastics, Houston, TX.
     Frank’s wife of more than 60 years, Edith Ott Ratcliff, kept the books. All four sons and two grandsons worked in the shop during summer vacations and after school. The three youngest sons later worked in the sign industry independently.
     His son, James, also said of his father, “He was generous to a fault with his time and energy. He was a devoted family man with five children, active in the Church of Christ and an avid bass fisherman. He and his wife, Edith, are buried in Shawnee, OK.”
 

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