Bess Ratcliff passed away peacefully on August 29th, 2021 while surrounded by her loving family. Bess was born in Akron, Ohio to Natale and Mary Musarra where she was the youngest of three children. Her brothers were Russ and Louie Musarra.
Bess was a devoted wife of 69 years to Phil and was a loving, caring mother to Phyllis
and Terry. She has two grandchildren whom she loved dearly, as well as six
great-grandchildren who were the center of her heart. Bess and Phil would have
been married for 70 years this September. As a couple, they loved to dance and in
their younger days they loved to Jitterbug.
In her earlier days, Bess was very proud of the beauty shop that she owned in downtown Akron called Lowe's Beauty Shop. After working in the beauty shop she spent many years taking care of children that she would claim to this day as being one of her own. She spent countless hours with her friends at the Son's of Italy where she attended many Christmas Parties, worked several festivals, and volunteered any time she was needed. She made friends through the Son's of Italy who became like family to her. Bess was also devoted to other organizations such as Young at Heart and Ladies Guild of Queen of Heaven where she was a part of the Friday Fish Fry, as well as the Tallmadge Primetimers. Even after the passing of her husband she still found time to be a part of the Polio Club.
Bess will be forever remembered by many things but mostly for the way she loved
her family. She never missed an opportunity to show her love for them. One specific
thing that Bess was known for was her delicious Sicilian cooking. She made the best
meals for family and friends and if you went home hungry it was of no fault but your
own. Bess had the opportunity to spend several vacations with her family and looked
forward to them every year. She loved Houghton Lake the best because she could
enjoy the peacefulness of the lake and the quiet nights. A running joke that her
family had with her was that she was nicknamed "Mrs. Doolittle" because of her love
for animals. She made the squirrels peanut butter toast, fed the birds daily, and left out
snacks for other critters. Of all the animals she loved, deer were her most favorite. On
the vacations to Houghton Lake it was always a necessity to jump in the van, find the
"deer field" and open the doors as we would look at all the deer. In addition to her
love for animals she also loved to play cards and Bingo with her husband and friends,
and visit the casino with her daughter Phyllis and Son in Law, Neil. She was a
devoted church goer with her daughter Terry where they would attend church and
go to dinner together.
Bess is preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Phillip Ratcliff, her parents
Natale and Mary Musarra, and two brothers Russ and Louie Musarra. She is survived
by her two daughters Phyllis (Neil) Dinkins, and Terry Thomas, grandchildren Chris
(Heather) Dinkins, Leann (Stevie) Lutz, great grandchildren Jacob, Nathan, Richie,
Layla, Sydney, and Stevie.
The family will receive friends Friday, September 3, 2021 from 4 to 8 pm at the Anthony Funeral Home of Green, 4178 Massillon Rd. (corner of Massillon and Steese Roads in Green, entrance off Steese) where a Sons of Italy service will be held at 7:45pm. A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 11:00am at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church , 1800 Steese Rd., Uniontown OH 44685. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery. Donations may be made to Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
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