Caroline (Poenitz) Ratliff, 76, a resident of Arlington, TX passed away on Wednesday October 2, 2019 at Grandmother’s House, a nursing/care facility in Arlington.
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She was born on August 21, 1943 in Seguin, Texas to Helmut and Annie Mae (Brietzke) Poenitz. She enjoyed growing up on the farm with lots of pets. Her mom raised chickens and Caroline developed a lifelong love for chickens and had the whole flock as her pets. Her Dad gave her a calf to raise and the proceeds from the baby calves would go to her education fund. It was a Santa Gertrudis calf that she named Trudy and she was able to pet it in the fields whenever she approached the cow through the years. Something no one else was able to do.
She graduated from La Vernia High School and attended Draughon's Business College in San Antonio, Texas graduating with a secretarial certificate. After school she went to work as a secretary at Sunshine Biscuit Company in San Antonio, Texas. After more than a decade of working there, the office closed and she went to work in Seguin, TX as office personnel for United Cotton Goods. This was when offices were starting to be automated and she was sent to Atlanta, GA to learn the computer system for the company. She was proud of being trusted with this new experience.
August 18, 1985 she married John Delbert Ratliff and moved from the farm in La Vernia to Arlington, Texas to start a new life. She was hired by the Arlington Independent School District to work in the food services department for nearby elementary schools. She enjoyed each of the jobs she had and made lifelong friends at each of these that she kept in close contact with her whole life.
After retiring in 2007 she enjoyed not having to get up before the crack of dawn to go to work. She spent time with her husband at home and enjoyed doing social activities, including visiting family, going back to the farm to visit her parents and more recently keeping up with friends on Facebook. She loved knowing what her family and friends were up to. She checked her tablet for new Facebook posts multiple times a day and would then call family and friends to check on them after reading the news. A group of cousins and friends from the Grand Prairie and Arlington SDA churches would get together monthly to celebrate birthdays at a local restaurant like Furr’s or Golden Corral and she would always look forward to this highlight. Although she was generally a shy person, she loved people and talking with them.
Caroline grew up speaking German at home and learned English in school at Elm Creek School a few miles from home. She enjoyed German songs and readings from the German Bible. She was very happy when relatives from Germany would come and visit and she was forced to speak German to communicate. She eagerly listened to stories her brother would tell from his travels to Germany and other parts of Europe.
She battled with cancer for many years and kept it at bay each time it returned. Recently the cancer numbers started to rise and her body was too tired to continue the fight and the pain was severe. She fell asleep in the blessed hope of Jesus’ soon return and being reunited with her family and loved ones. She was a member of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist church.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Visitation will be held Sunday, October 6 from 6pm to 8pm at Wade Family Funeral Home in Arlington
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 7 at 12pm at Wade Family Funeral Home with pastor Kevin Wells officiating.
Interment will follow at Moore Memorial Gardens in Arlington.
Caroline is preceded in death by her parents Helmut and Annie Mae Poenitz
She is survived by her husband John, of 34 years, her brother Floyd Poenitz (and husband Dr. Jeffrey Williams), sister-in-law Luetta Clark, brother-in-law Robert Ratliff, an uncle Nobert Brietzke (and Aunt Mary Lee), and aunts Ruby Doege Brietzke and Lillian Lange Brietzke and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Memorial Donations can be made to Grandmother’s House in Arlington or Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter in Seguin.
Email condolences or memories can be sent to: Floyd@poenitz.org
Wade Family Funeral Home