The Stories They Tell 3

John Ratcliffe

John Ratcliffe (1930-2017) didn’t let being born deaf limit his ability to participate and live his life to the fullest. As a boy, he attended the Rochester School for the Deaf and Allendale Columbia School, where he was active in sports, as well as participating in Boy Scouts, achieving Eagle Scout before becoming a scout leader for Troop 77 of Rochester—the first deaf scoutmaster for a troop of all hearing scouts.

Ratcliffe was no less active at RIT, where he studied Lithography, was a brother in the Gamma Phi printing fraternity and a member of the Pi Club (another printing organization), played baseball, and helped with technical aspects of publishing the Reporter. It was at RIT that he met his wife of 62 years, Frances (nee Long), a Food Administration major who he graduated alongside in 1953.

After graduation, he went on to work for Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company (now Reuters) for over 30 years. In addition to his career, Ratcliffe continued his life-long passion for community service, especially when it would aid the deaf community. He established the first local TTY Relay Service in 1973 and was on the TTY maintenance team for 20 years, as well as serving on the boards of both Rochester Tel-Com Association of the Deaf and the Monroe County Association for the Hearing Impaired.

John Ratcliffe passed away on February 23, 2017, at the age of 86.

Pi Club 1953
Reporter Staff Trio
1953 RIT Baseball Team
A Gamma Phi Kind of Guy
Finalizing the Reporter
Frances (Long) Ratcliffe
Phone TTY Model R-IW Receiver