ROCK HILL -- Mr. William Roosevelt "Po Bill" "Scratchy" Ratchford, of 535 Flint St., Rock Hill, died Friday, Oct. 10, 2008, at Hospice & Community Care in Rock Hill. He was born Dec. 13, 1932, in York County to the late Frances Kennedy White and John L. Ratchford.
Mr. Ratchford, who was educated in the public schools of York, S.C., worked at the Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Company and later as a store clerk. He joined the Langrum Branch Baptist Church at an early age and later became a member of Big Calvary Baptist Church in Lando, S.C.
He placed with gospel groups for over 60 years, including the Crownettes, Stars of Zion, Pilgrim Five, Gospel Persuaders, Gospel Interpreters and the Spiritual Harmonizers. He could make his guitar, "Louise" sing to the glory of God.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lee Jones Ratchford and his son, Gary F. Ratchford.
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He is survived by three sons, Thomas Kennedy of Edgemoor, S.C., William Ratchford Jr. of Las Vegas, Nevada and Ray Ratchford of Charlotte, N.C.; three daughters, Melissa Robinson (Jack) of Edgemoor, Myra Neely (Lenell) of Belleville, Ill., and Mary R. Ratchford of Rock Hill; the mother of his seven children, Mary K. Ratchford; brother, John Ratchford Jr. of Washington, D.C.; sister, Inez McMillan of Washington, D.C.; 13 grandchildren, including William Ratchford III, who was one of his caregivers; 16 great-grandchildren; special cousins, Carolyn Kiser and Josie Thames; and special friends, Martha Bellefeurue and family, Bernard and Mary Brown.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. today, Oct. 15, 2008, at Parker Funeral Home. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, at Boyd Hill Baptist Church, with the Rev. Rodney Adams officiating and the Rev. Dennis Featherstone, Evangelist Ricky White and Minister Brenda Pembertone.
Parker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.