Ernest Stephen Ratledge, age 69 of Cleveland passed away, Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Life Care Center of Cleveland after an extended illness. He was native of McMinn County, Tenn., resident of Cleveland since 1971 and preceded in death by his wife of 48 years: Sandra Ratledge, Paternal Grandparents: Henry Lee and Kitty Mae (Robinson) Ratledge and Maternal Grandparents: Winfred and Mattie Lee (Goins) Coleman. Stephen received primary and secondary education at North City Elementary and McMinn County High School in Athens, Tenn. He was a member of the Methodist Faith and Big Spring United Methodist Church. He served three years and nine months active duty in the U. S. Navy as a seaman in the supply corps, and was a member of the commissioning crew of the USS New Jersey in April 1968 for service in the Vietnam War. While aboard the New Jersey, he received a Vietnam Service Ribbon and two campaign stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. His last active duty station was a board the USS Robison with six months of combat duty in Vietnam. He received an honorable discharge from the Naval Reserve in 1971. An Associate Science Degree was conferred upon him in 1973 at Cleveland State Community College, Cleveland, Tenn., In 1975, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in business administration with emphasis in accounting at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. During his college enrollment, he was employed with various supermarkets. After graduation, he worked as a bookkeeper/accountant for different local business.
Funeral services will be 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 21, 2018 in the Chapel of Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home with Joeseph Lee Ratledge officiating.
Interment will 2:00 P.M. Friday, December 22, 2018 in McMinn Memory Gardens.
Active pallbearers will be family and friends.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 Thursday in the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent to www.laycock-hobbs.com/notices/Ernest-Ratledge.
Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home, Athens, Tenn. in charge of arrangements.