John W. “Bill” Ratliff, 89, of Sparland, passed away on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at UnityPoint Health Methodist in Peoria.

John was born on Dec. 20, 1929, in Hallock Township to John V. and Mary M. (Bauer) Ratliff. He married Lena Faye Barge on Feb. 22, 1949.   

Surviving are his wife, Faye; his children, John R. “Bob” (Renee) Ratliff of Chillicothe, C. Diane (Gary) Grebner of Metamora and David (Ellen Tabor) Ratliff of Chillicothe; his grandchildren, Wendy Hart, Jeff Ratliff, Kristina (Stephen) Rauh, Derek Grebner, Ashlie (Sean Art) Ratliff and Amanda (Josh) Biggar; six great grandchildren; and his sister, Marilyn Longman of Henry.  He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Glen.

John was a life-long farmer in the Sparland area. He was the LaPrairie Township Road Commissioner for 50 years, a Marshall-Putnam Fair Board Director for 17 years and a 4-H Leader for many years. John was also a member of the Marshall-Putnam Township Officials, the Marshall-Putnam Farm Bureau, the Illinois Valley 2-Cylinder Club, the Illinois State Corn Huskers, the Illinois Angus Association, the Marshall-Putnam Antiques Association, and the Illinois Sheriff Association.

Funeral service was on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at 10 a.m. at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe. Visitation was held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening at the funeral home.  Burial will be held in the Chillicothe City Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wyoming-Speer Fire Department, Lacon-Sparland Ambulance Service, or Illinois FFA. Online condolences may be made through