Elaine Courvoisier Ratliff, age 95, of Abingdon, Va., passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021, at Johnston Memorial Hospital. She was born September 5, 1926, to the late Paul August Courvoisier and Aline Pecaut Courvoisier in New York, N.Y. She was a 60-year member of Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church.
Elaine’s father, Paul, and his wife, Aline, were Swiss immigrants who began their life together in the U.S. in 1920. During the depression Paul saw an opportunity and used his Swiss training to open a watch dial refinishing business in Manhattan, Geneva Watch Dial Company. They sold the business in 1959 and used the proceeds to build Alpine Motel in Abingdon, opening in 1961. It was here her family began blossoming into what it is today, an ever-growing family including her two children, seven grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.
Many know Elaine as “Nannie,” a term within the family that holds high regard and invokes thoughts of strength, resilience, humbleness, and selflessness as this is the type of character she had and also instilled into her family. Elaine was never known to complain and was always in high spirits, all the way to the end. She was truly a second mother to many in her family.
Elaine was a book connoisseur, she loved reading fiction. She also shared an immense love of birds with her husband as her yard was always alive with many beautiful birds, including her favorite, the little Chickadee. She also had a passion for beautiful flowers and loved garden gnomes.
Elaine beat cancer on three separate occasions, including one case that was very rare, a token of her strong will and determination. Elaine passed peacefully, surrounded by her two children, and now joins her mother, father, and beloved husband in heaven.
In addition to her parents, Elaine was also preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Curtis Eugene Ratliff; and several brothers and sisters-in-law.
She is survived by her son, Richard C. "Rick" (fiancée Teresa) Ratliff; daughter, Linda Ratliff (Johnnie) Cole, all of Abingdon, Va.; seven grandchildren: Jennifer Cole (Keith) Jenkins; Jeana Cole (Greg) Jenkins all of Mechanicsville, Va.; Jay (Kelly) Cole of Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; Jimmy (Georgia) Cole of Midlothian, Va.; Marianne Ratliff (Shahzad) Hashmi of Atlanta, Ga.; Ian M. (Julia) Ratliff of Naples, Italy; and Miles C. Ratliff of Richmond, Va.; 13 great grandchildren, Ashlyn, Gracie and Cole Jenkins, Gabe Jenkins, Christopher and Aubrey Cole, Olivia Harvey, Molly Kiser, Layla and Reza Hashmi, Vivian, Julian and Elijah Cole; her husband's siblings who were like her own family: Tora Ratliff (Ralph) Bond and Lorene Ratliff Jantzen both of Bristol, Va.; Frank Ratliff of Abingdon, Va.; Clinton (Mabel) Ratliff of Vansant, Va.; Claude (Ida) Ratliff of Falls Church, Va.; and Loretta Ratliff Albert of Annapolis, Md.; sister-in-law Maria Ratliff of Bristol, VA; and a special sister-in-law, Heidi Edith Ratliff of Rosedale, Va.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. at the Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon, Va., with the Rev. Kevin Campbell officiating. Entombment in the Serenity Garden Mausoleum will be private. Honorary pallbearers will be Ian Ratliff, Miles Ratliff, David W. Campbell, Jay Cole, Jimmy Cole, Don Ratliff, and Jim Ratliff. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Forest Hills Chapel.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation and admiration for the nurses, doctors, and staff of the Johnston Memorial Hospital Emergency Department for the special care shown to Mrs. Ratliff and her family during her final hours.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, 136 E. Main St., Abingdon, Va. 24210, or the Presbyterian Children's Home of the Highlands, P.O. Box 545, Wytheville, Va. 24382.
Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so by visiting www.farrisfuneralservice.com and signing the online guestbook. The family of Elaine Courvoisier Ratliff is being cared for by Farris Cremation and Funeral Center, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon, Va. 24210 (276-623-2700).