Obituary: William Durrah Ratliff III

William Durrah Ratliff III 

William Durrah Ratliff III 


William Durrah Ratliff III died on July 7 after a battler with cancer, according to his obituary.

Ratliff would have turned 70 years of age on August 25, 2019.

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Born August 25, 1949, and raised in Fort Worth, Bill was a 5th generation Texan and the oldest of six children to Barbara Warner and William D. Ratliff Jr. During his childhood, Bill was a high-achieving competitive swimmer and then a stand-out football player at Arlington Heights High School. Playing center on the offensive line, (just as his father did), and wearing jersey No. 50, he started a lineage that was continued with his brothers and eventually his son Bill IV. After graduating in 1967, Bill headed to Austin and the University of Texas where he graduated in 1971 with a BBA in Accounting, followed by a J.D. from UT Law School In 1974. In 1975, Ratliff graduated top of his class from Southern Methodist University Law School with a L.L.M. in Taxation & Probate.

Upon graduating from SMU, Ratliff moved to Washington, D.C. where he clerked for the U.S. Tax Court for two years. He moved back to Fort Worth in 1977 and joined the law firm of Cantey & Hanger. In 1984, Ratliff left C&H to open the Fort Worth office of Haynes & Boone. In March of this year, he joined the law firm of Decker Jones. He was Board-Certified in commercial real estate law, tax law, and estate planning and probate law. He was named Super Lawyer multiple times, and through the recognition of his peers, was awarded with numerous other legal accolades.

Bill was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and remained an active alumnus; another lineage that was continued by his three brothers as well as his son Bill IV. He was also a member of The Steeplechase Club, River Crest Country Club, and The Fort Worth Club.

Ratliff was an active member of the Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show, as well as the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, serving as Syndicate Chairman in 1996 & 1997. He was a long-standing and active member of the Calf Scramble Committee, Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. His favorite time of the year was the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo season. One of his greatest passions was raising charitable funds for various agricultural scholarships, never seeking any recognition. His involvement in the Fort Worth Stock Show and FWSS Syndicate was truly an honor to

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Bill is preceded in death by his father, Bill Jr., brother, Bobby, brother-in-law, Bill Dremel, niece, Chelsea Dremel, and brother-in-law, Eddie Deems.

Survivors: His mother Barbara; wife, Julie; son, Bill IV and wife, Rachael; daughter, Emily Ratliff Hughes, her husband, Randy, and their daughter, Brooke; and siblings, Bryan, Louise Deems, Brent (Susie) and Jeanne Dremel; sister-in-law, Patti Ratliff; brother-in-law, Zac Martin (Melanie); along with nephews, Sam (Heather), Robert (Natalie), John (Hayley), Trey Dremel; nieces, Ann Bonner (Johnny), Shelly Rogers (Zach), Rachel Huston (Peter), Wendy Dremel and Hayley Martin; as well as numerous great-nephews & nieces, cousins and countless dear friends.

Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019 at University Christian Church with a reception following at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum. Visitation: 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Thompson’s Harveson and Cole.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, scholarship donations in Bill’s honor can be made to either the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’s Calf Scramble, (FWSSR, PO Box 150, Fort Worth, TX 76101,, or to the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, (FWSSS, PO Box 17005, Fort Worth, TX 76102, ).

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