Roger Ratchford

Obituary of Roger L. Ratchford

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NORWALK, CONN Roger Ratchford, 88, passed away on September 7, 2022. He left behind an unmatched legacy, in teaching, in coaching golf, in advocating for people with disabilities, and in the love he imparted to those around him. Born in Norwalk, CT, Roger was raised mostly by his mother, and with the help of the large Hungarian side of his family.Though his mother passed away when he was 13, Roger was grounded by her love and faith, and went on to become valedictorian of his class at Fairfield Prep. To supplement a tuition scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross, he worked afternoon shifts at Worcester Quilting Company to cover room and board, no small feat. After graduating, he returned to Prep to teach Latin, Classical Greek, French and English, and to coach the golf team. That led to a 40-year string of wins for the team. Roger was honored in the Prep Athletic Hall of Fame, named National High School Golf Coach of the Year, and had the national record for winning more matches than any other golf coach in the country. Roger was also one of the first to bring American high school students to the French Alps for homestays with French families. He felt strongly that immersion was the best way to master a language. Until the end of his life, he was able to recite by memory passages from Homer’s “Odyssey” in the original Greek. And he was proud of his work helping the nuns at the Convent of St. Birgitta in the proper pronunciation of Latin chants. But the legacy Roger felt was most important was that of improving opportunities for people with disabilities. Inspired by his son, Mike, he and his wife, Gail, became actively involved in the growth of STAR, Inc. He lobbied for the closure of Mansfield Training Center in 1993, and advocated for a shift to group homes and the full integration of people with disabilities into the community. Two-time President of STAR, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the ARC of Connecticut in 1988. Roger is predeceased by his wife, Gail, and survived by three children and one grandchild. He was a walking encyclopedia of Norwalk history, and was proud of the Ratchfords’ long legacy in this town, from the Ratchford Hotel and Saloon in the first part of the 20th century, to his Aunt Helen’s tenure as a teacher at Norwalk High. The Funeral Mass will be on September 22 at 2pm, at St. Mary Church in Norwalk. A celebration of life will be held at Fairfield Prep some time in October. The family is indebted to Dorrean, Sharon Mack, and her staff for their loving care during hospice. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to STAR, Inc.
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Willowbrook Cemetery
395 Main Street
Westport, Connecticut, United States


Section LCM, Grave 80
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Roger Ratchford

In Loving Memory

Roger Ratchford

1933 - 2022

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