In memory of
Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford
In memory of
Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford
Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford Muncie - Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford, passed away on Saturday, January 09, 2021. The daughter of Seward D. Creel and Oveido Ann (Thornhill) Creel, was born on August 12, 1921 in Eagle Lake, Florida. She spent her early years between Eagle Lake, Lake Wales, and Winter Haven where she enjoyed her time riding horses, swimming, skiing and the numerous Thornhill clan family members. Following high school, she went on to pursue her love of nursing at Gordon Keller School of Nursing on Davis Island in Tampa, Florida. Graduating from Nursing School in 1942, she enlisted in the Army Nurses Corp (at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida). Lots of traveling was in store for Melva. First to Louisville, Kentucky, where she became an Air Evacuation Flight Nurse following a rigorous program for nurses that today would compare with six weeks of Outward-Bound training… then her assignment was Honolulu, Hawaii….but, before you think what a soft assignment this was, remember that her duties were to airlift injured soldiers from the Philippines to Hawaii for beginning rehabilitation, then they were transported to the mainland before returning home. Her battles and campaigns while in the military were the Western Pacific and Southern Philippines. While in Hawaii, Melva survived three plane crashes and was awarded the Bronze Star. The picture of this historic event shows her with black hair (she grayed, prematurely). A feature article appeared in Life Magazine in the April 1944 edition describing the three crashes and the presentation of the Bronze Star. On V-J Day (end of the war), Melva was in Manila. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, she also received the Air Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, American Theater Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation ribbon with 1 Bronze Service Star and the Victory Medal. Following discharge from the Air Force, Melva returned to Winter Haven, Florida, and worked in the Emergency Room. She also started new nursing employment as Office Nurse for Dr. T.C. Kermedias (Obstetrics and Gynecology). Melva even "scrubbed" for surgical cases that the doctor performed. Many times, relatives requested that Melva be "in the Operating Room" ….to keep an eye on everything! Already the owner of an orange grove and real estate ventures, Melva joined any organization that was looking to increase their membership roles. Some of them included the Eastern Star and Beta Sigma Phi, bridge clubs, and young singles groups. Friends were always trying to "fix her up" with eligible young men, and on a blind date in 1950, she met Lt Colonel Ellis Richard Ratchford (Bud), her future husband whose was a flight instructor stationed in Ft. Myers, Florida. They met at the drugstore soda counter that was over the office where she worked. He flew back and forth from Indiana to Florida to court her in his Bonanza airplane until she said "Yes"! Melva and Ellis (Bud) married in February of 1951 at the First Baptist Church in Lake Wales, Florida and he carried her off to Muncie, Indiana. Where he and his father owned City Sales and Service (a Pontiac dealership). Being a Southern transplant was a challenge for Melva, but true-to-form, she developed lasting friendships and maintained strong ties to her Florida roots. After moving to Muncie, IN, they became members of First Baptist Church and together they devotedly raised 4 children. As time consuming as it was, she made sure that each of her children were involved in practically any activity that was out there to further their future. She oversaw the countless trips for music lessons, cotillion, sports, and summer school. Mary Melva made sure that family traveled every opportunity there was a spare moment by their family plane or car. She also made sure that each of her 4 children graduated college so they would be able to survive in the "world" as she called it. She was a PTO mom, a Cub Scout den mother, as well as Eastern Star, Sertoma Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars. To sum this up, Mary Melva Ratchford was involved in as much as she could possibly be involved. Wow! There are not very many people who can claim "stranger status" when it comes to Mary Melva Ratchford. Mrs. Ratchford is survived by her daughter, Jo Ratchford Boyce (husband, Scot), Muncie, IN, Gary Lee Ratchford, Pompano Beach, FL, and Robert (Bob) Ratchford (wife, Polly), Yorktown, IN. In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren; George C. (Corey) Wilkinson II (Britney) Orange, CA, Gavin Ellis Wilkinson, Chicago, IL, Elizabeth Quinn Kinney (Doug) Cincinnati, OH, Samantha Jo Sloan (Mike), Fishers, IN, Anna Marie Ratchford, Yorktown, IN, and her very special great grandchild Scott Thomas Sloan. She is also survived by her fur grandbabies, Bentley, Dallas, Fabel, Mini & Chevy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lt. Col. Ellis (Bud) R. Ratchford, son, Major Harry L. (Larry) Ratchford II, parents Oviedo Ann Thornhill Creel & Seward D. Creel, Sister, Susie (Creel) Cannon (Coy), Brother, Milford (Fritz) Creel (Eleanor Grace). A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:00 pm at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, with Pastor Wade Allen officiating. Burial will follow with Military Rites conducted by the U.S. Air Force and Delaware County Veterans Honor Guard in Elm Ridge Cemetery. Family and friends may call at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, from 11:00 am until service time at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, IN 47305. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com .
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Past Services ╲╱
In memory of
Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford
Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford Muncie - Mary Melva (Creel) Ratchford, passed away on Saturday, January 09, 2021. The daughter of Seward D. Creel and Oveido Ann (Thornhill) Creel, was born on August 12, 1921 in Eagle Lake, Florida. She spent her early years between Eagle Lake, Lake Wales, and Winter Haven where she enjoyed her time riding horses, swimming, skiing and the numerous Thornhill clan family members. Following high school, she went on to pursue her love of nursing at Gordon Keller School of Nursing on Davis Island in Tampa, Florida. Graduating from Nursing School in 1942, she enlisted in the Army Nurses Corp (at Drew Field, Tampa, Florida). Lots of traveling was in store for Melva. First to Louisville, Kentucky, where she became an Air Evacuation Flight Nurse following a rigorous program for nurses that today would compare with six weeks of Outward-Bound training… then her assignment was Honolulu, Hawaii….but, before you think what a soft assignment this was, remember that her duties were to airlift injured soldiers from the Philippines to Hawaii for beginning rehabilitation, then they were transported to the mainland before returning home. Her battles and campaigns while in the military were the Western Pacific and Southern Philippines. While in Hawaii, Melva survived three plane crashes and was awarded the Bronze Star. The picture of this historic event shows her with black hair (she grayed, prematurely). A feature article appeared in Life Magazine in the April 1944 edition describing the three crashes and the presentation of the Bronze Star. On V-J Day (end of the war), Melva was in Manila. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, she also received the Air Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, American Theater Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation ribbon with 1 Bronze Service Star and the Victory Medal. Following discharge from the Air Force, Melva returned to Winter Haven, Florida, and worked in the Emergency Room. She also started new nursing employment as Office Nurse for Dr. T.C. Kermedias (Obstetrics and Gynecology). Melva even "scrubbed" for surgical cases that the doctor performed. Many times, relatives requested that Melva be "in the Operating Room" ….to keep an eye on everything! Already the owner of an orange grove and real estate ventures, Melva joined any organization that was looking to increase their membership roles. Some of them included the Eastern Star and Beta Sigma Phi, bridge clubs, and young singles groups. Friends were always trying to "fix her up" with eligible young men, and on a blind date in 1950, she met Lt Colonel Ellis Richard Ratchford (Bud), her future husband whose was a flight instructor stationed in Ft. Myers, Florida. They met at the drugstore soda counter that was over the office where she worked. He flew back and forth from Indiana to Florida to court her in his Bonanza airplane until she said "Yes"! Melva and Ellis (Bud) married in February of 1951 at the First Baptist Church in Lake Wales, Florida and he carried her off to Muncie, Indiana. Where he and his father owned City Sales and Service (a Pontiac dealership). Being a Southern transplant was a challenge for Melva, but true-to-form, she developed lasting friendships and maintained strong ties to her Florida roots. After moving to Muncie, IN, they became members of First Baptist Church and together they devotedly raised 4 children. As time consuming as it was, she made sure that each of her children were involved in practically any activity that was out there to further their future. She oversaw the countless trips for music lessons, cotillion, sports, and summer school. Mary Melva made sure that family traveled every opportunity there was a spare moment by their family plane or car. She also made sure that each of her 4 children graduated college so they would be able to survive in the "world" as she called it. She was a PTO mom, a Cub Scout den mother, as well as Eastern Star, Sertoma Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars. To sum this up, Mary Melva Ratchford was involved in as much as she could possibly be involved. Wow! There are not very many people who can claim "stranger status" when it comes to Mary Melva Ratchford. Mrs. Ratchford is survived by her daughter, Jo Ratchford Boyce (husband, Scot), Muncie, IN, Gary Lee Ratchford, Pompano Beach, FL, and Robert (Bob) Ratchford (wife, Polly), Yorktown, IN. In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren; George C. (Corey) Wilkinson II (Britney) Orange, CA, Gavin Ellis Wilkinson, Chicago, IL, Elizabeth Quinn Kinney (Doug) Cincinnati, OH, Samantha Jo Sloan (Mike), Fishers, IN, Anna Marie Ratchford, Yorktown, IN, and her very special great grandchild Scott Thomas Sloan. She is also survived by her fur grandbabies, Bentley, Dallas, Fabel, Mini & Chevy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lt. Col. Ellis (Bud) R. Ratchford, son, Major Harry L. (Larry) Ratchford II, parents Oviedo Ann Thornhill Creel & Seward D. Creel, Sister, Susie (Creel) Cannon (Coy), Brother, Milford (Fritz) Creel (Eleanor Grace). A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:00 pm at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, with Pastor Wade Allen officiating. Burial will follow with Military Rites conducted by the U.S. Air Force and Delaware County Veterans Honor Guard in Elm Ridge Cemetery. Family and friends may call at First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, from 11:00 am until service time at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 309 E. Adams Street, Muncie, IN 47305. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com .
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