Karen Ann (née Foltz) Ratcliff went home to walk with Jesus on May 2, 2022, after 83 years with her friends and family. She was born on August 29, 1938 in Columbus, Ohio and lived there with the exception of a few years in the Sunshine State.
She is remembered by those who loved her as an ardent fan of Elvis, giraffes, eating out, and Dilly bars. As a teen, she was an accomplished tap and toe tap dancer (yes, this was a real thing) and could have pursued a career as a Rockette if so desired. We really think she would have excelled on stage! She had a strong personality and could be quite the performer.
Karen graduated from South High School in 1956. She loved her first car, a classic black ‘57 Chevy almost as stylish as she was. Her first professional job was as a keypunch operator at the Ohio Fuel Gas Company and then proceeded to other data entry positions at The Limited, RFS and McGraw-Hill.
She had a knack for numbers and was nicknamed “The Boss” by her quite devoted husband of 55 years Kenneth, who relied on her oversight and organization of all household finances and general operations. She began her own home babysitting business that thrived and kept her busy despite her inability to leave the house for 15 years due to severe agoraphobia.
In her leisure time, Karen loved playing card games Bunco and Samba as well as Mahjong. She was a fierce competitor, occasionally being accused of playing fast and loose with the prescribed rules of the game. On a daily basis, she was an avid reader, crossword puzzler, word searcher, and Sudoku-er. Quite bravely, she decided to learn to swim in her 70s after a lifelong fear of water.
Karen overcame many challenges in her life, including being left by her father at a very young age and then raised by a single mother who loved her but didn’t always show it. She struggled since then with her mental health but had a healthy midlife and senior adulthood enjoying time traveling, hanging out with her children and grandchildren, living in Florida with her brother and sister-in-law, and always being game for new restaurants and social time.
Karen loved life as deeply as she could and was a card-carrying member of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, which was founded by some of her ancestors on the Foltz side. She regularly played a role there, from nursery volunteer to Sunday school teacher, bible study devotee, and choir member.
Preceded in death by her mother Anna Louise (née Stein) Foltz, she is survived by her loving husband Kenneth Ratcliff; brother, David Foltz and his wife Cheley; daughter, Kimberly Ratcliff and son Kirk Ratcliff; son-in-law, Ben Edwards and daughter-in-law, Christie Ratcliff, along with six biological and informally but lovingly adopted grandchildren; Catherine and Joshua Edwards and Alexis Rogers; Brendyn, Kevin and Aidyn Ratcliff and one great-grandchild , Ariel Rogers.
The family will celebrate her life at a private service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Action for Children’s FatherUp program, which works to “build up fathers across Central Ohio throughout every stage of their parenting journey – because empowered fathers empower families.” Karen dearly missed her father throughout her life, and this program helps keep children and their fathers together in a way that we believe she would wholeheartedly endorse.
Arrangements under the care of Cotner Funeral Home.
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