Brattleboro, VT: Robert Joseph Ratti (Bob), 94, passed away on June 25th, on his 70th wedding anniversary surrounded by his family. Bob was born in Proctor, VT on July 5, 1924, the younger son of Premo Francis Ratti and Margaret (Casey) Ratti. He was raised and educated in the Proctor/Pittsford/Florence, VT area until his sophomore year when his family moved to Brattleboro.
Bob graduated from Brattleboro High School, Class of 1942 after excelling in basketball and baseball, both of which he captained. After high school he attended Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT until March of 1943 when he was drafted into the US Navy where he served as an Aviation Ordnanceman in the South Pacific on Saipan and Tinian Islands. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1946, Bob returned to Brattleboro and played basketball for the Spaulding Cardinals, a semi-pro basketball team. During his time as a Spaulding Cardinal, Bob was chosen as one of the seven best players in the league, which consisted of teams from the tri-state area. Ernie Johnson, his life-long friend, classmate and member of the Spaulding Cardinals, was the leagues’ most valuable player. The Spaulding Cardinals won the league championships in 1946 and 1947.
On June 25, 1949, he married Mary Elizabeth (Mary Liz) Coombs at St. Michael’s Church in Brattleboro, VT. They moved to Burlington, VT in order for Bob to complete his education at the University of Vermont. While there he earned his varsity letter in golf and captained the freshmen basketball team. At that time, freshman students were not allowed to play on varsity teams. However, he made the varsity basketball team his sophomore year. While at UVM, Bob was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He graduated in 1952 with a BS in Commerce and Economics. After graduation they moved to Los Angeles, CA where Bob embarked on a lifelong career in the insurance business. In 1962 he was hired by The Richards Group (formerly Richards, Hoffman & Clay Insurance Agency) and retired from the organization in 1995 at the age of 70.
Bob was a past member of the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce and, at one time, served as the Division Chairman for the United Way Fund drive. Bob joined the Brattleboro Country Club in 1946 and for 16 years, he served on their Board of Directors. He also served on the VT State Golf Association Board for two years. Bob had many golf achievements, including two VT State Amateur championships (1959 and 1970), one VT State Senior Championship (1985) and two father-son golf championship titles playing with his father, Premo. Yet of all his golfing achievements, Bob was most proud of his career 7 holes-in-one (the last being in 2008 at the age of 84) and for being Medalist at the Equinox Country Club during a qualifying round for the N. E. Golf Tournament in 1959.
Bob was predeceased by his beloved wife, Mary Liz (2011), his parents, Premo F. Ratti and Margaret Casey Ratti, his brother, Francis (Sass) Ratti, his brother-in-laws, Charles Coombs, (1967) and Joseph Coombs (2019) and many aunts and uncles.
Bob is survived by his three loving and devoted children and their families: Jo Carol Ratti and her husband Wayne Farrell, of Brattleboro; Casey Ratti and her husband, Tim Bicknell and their children, Max Ratti-Bicknell and Robbie Bicknell, of Ferrisburgh, VT; and Stephen Ratti, of Brattleboro, and his son, Michael Ratti of Boylston, MA. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, cousins and his sister-in-law, Patricia Ratti, of Brattleboro as well as his favorite companion and grand dog, Maggie Mae.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church. Calling hours will be on Friday, July 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Atamaniuk Funeral Home
Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s honor to the Vermont Golf Association Scholarship Fund (vgasf.org/802-497-3897) or to The Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Road, PO Box 397 Brattleboro, VT 05302 (windhamcountyhumane.org).