Donna Jean Ratcliff was a caring mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and neighbor. She peacefully left this world on April 7, 2021 at the age 73, surrounded by her daughter, son and son-in-love.
She was born May 9, 1947 in Glen Dale, WV to the late William and Marie (Shoemaker) Lemasters.
Donna was a Christian by faith.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by the love of her life, James Howell, her daughter-in-law Kathy, and her beloved dog Honey.
Donna’s life was the epitome of “blooming where you’re planted.” She left everything better than she found it–including the people she loved and cared for. The simplest pleasures in life brought her great joy. She loved morning coffee on her porch, tending to her flowers, Saturday “adventures” with her family, daily phone calls from her son, teasing her son-in-law, and “good” yard sales, where she would buy items not for herself but because “someone might need them.”
At the age of 40, Donna returned to school, earning a college degree, and began a career serving adults with developmental disabilities at BelcoWorks. She deeply loved her clients.
Whether by car, plane, or bus, Donna was an avid traveler to destinations near and far. Some of her favorite vacations included parasailing in Hawaii, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, Nashville with her best friend Josie and her numerous trips to Jamaica. Her grandson Logan was her faithful travel companion, partner-in-shenanigans and “the best roomie ever.”
She was a devoted caregiver and a self-proclaimed “Dogaholic.” Her boundless love, quiet strength and unwavering support made her a surrogate mom to many. She loved Christmas, fresh pastries, Bellaire Big Reds football, QVC, The Voice, and the color pink.
She is survived by her two children, Don Ratcliff of Findlay, OH; Misty (Joe) Klug of Shadyside, OH, two grandsons, Nicholas Cross and Logan Klug, her beloved dog Tiny and many dear friends. She is also survived by five brothers, William (Linda) Lemasters of Moundsville, WV; Robert (Joanne) Lemasters of Zanesville, OH; Danny Lemasters of Wheeling, WV; Dennis (Debbie Wendel) Lemasters of Bridgeport, OH; Eugene Lemasters.
A memorial service takes place Sunday, April 11 at Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Home, 441 37th Street, Bellaire, Ohio from noon until the time of service at 2pm. The family asks that you wear masks and observe social distancing as much as possible.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee or by going to TMCFunding.com.