Shirley Ann Ratledge, a life-long resident of Harrington, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 27, 2020, surrounded by her husband and family during her final moments, as she embarked on her new journey into Heaven. She was the daughter of Roy and Sarah Elizabeth Harrington. Shirley graduated from Harrington High School in 1967 and went on to marry her high school sweetheart, Albert Lee Ratledge, in 1968. After leaving her job at Playtex, Shirley devoted her life to being a loving mother and homemaker to her two sons and husband for many years, prior to becoming a caregiver to many elderly members of her community. Those who had the opportunity to know Shirley personally, or to meet her as a stranger, always found her to be an extremely caring, genuine, and sincere individual that impacted the lives of many friends and families over the years. Shirley’s compassion for others was always prevalent and never subsided, as she would consistently inquire how others’ were feeling, whether it being her medical staff during numerous hospital stays or complete strangers in an elevator. Shirley was a friend to all who knew her and will forever be remembered and treasured in the hearts of many.
As all would attest, spending time with family and friends were Shirley’s passion and delight. Whether it being a day trip to Lancaster and the Green Dragon Flea Market, socializing on her daily trip to the grocery store, dining out, talking on the phone, taking rides all over the countryside, strolling the streets of Rehoboth Beach on a Saturday night, attending Apple Scrapple, or attending The Delaware State Fair almost every night, Shirley found pleasure and delight in the simple things, even cutting the grass. Over the years, she thoroughly enjoyed watching her daily soap operas, gameshows, 1980s prime-time soaps (Dallas, Knots Landing), and Ellen. Shirley was a dedicated grandmother that absolutely loved her grandchildren and cherished every moment she spent with them. Shirley was a member of the Calvary Wesleyan Church in Harrington throughout her entire life.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents and grand-daughter, Peyton Ratledge.
Shirley is survived by her husband of 51 years, Albert Lee Ratledge; her eldest son and his partner, Eric Ratledge and Jose Campos III; her youngest son and his wife, Jason and Jessica Ratledge; her grandchildren, Tyler Ratledge, Nathan Ratledge, and Aaron Ratledge; her brother, W. Eddie Vincent; and life-long beloved friends Brenda and George Collins, among many other cherished friends.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all of the staff at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for their gentle care and support during Shirley’s time of need.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Shirley’s name to Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine by visiting: PennMedicine.org/giving or calling 215-898-0578.
Services for Shirley will be Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Melvin Funeral Home, 15522 South DuPont Hwy, Harrington, at 11 am. A visitation for family and friends will be Friday, July 31 from 6 -8pm. Interment will take place at Hollywood Cemetery, Harrington. We are adhering to the CDC and Delaware guidelines of occupancy limits, social distancing, and masks.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Thomas E. Melvin & Son Funeral Home, please visit us at www.melvinfuneralhome.com to express or send condolences.
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