Dalen Eldon Ratliff was born on November 27, 1944, and passed away at the age of 77 on April 24, 2022. Dalen was the son of Myrnah and Eldon Ratliff. He was the oldest of 5 children. He graduated as a Goldbug from Kensington High School in 1962 where he grew up in Kensington, Kansas. After graduation he worked on the family farm until joining the U.S. Army and receiving the rank of Sergeant. After he moved on to Colorado to work at the ski lodges as a tile installer with an Army buddy. When he was tired of skiing, he tried his hand at construction work until he moved back home to work with his dad.
In 1974, he met the love of his life and quickly became her partner in crime. He wanted the three kids that came with her so decided to marry her in 1976 at a “Come as you are” church in Colorado. They moved to Eudora in 1987 to help his brother Jerry drywall until 1994. They decided they wanted to return to small town living and moved back home to the house they built together (with help from his dad and friends) in 1977. Dalen decided it was time to really settle down and fill the house back up with two additional kids. Throughout life he never met a stranger. He was such an amazing dad and husband that even while writing this there are absolutely no words to express everything he’s given them to grow. He was a quiet rock for all his kids and his wife was his favorite person to torment.
In “Pa’s” downtime throughout the years he has enjoyed being with his family most of all but he’s also liked renaming towns and stores, racing with the Nech’s, giving nicknames to his grandkids, helping everyone he could, being a carry-all for craft shows, shooting guns with his kids/grandkids, collecting EVERYTHING, playing cards, Sudoku, watching movies, and being a slave to cats, birds and kids alike.
Dalen is preceded in death by his parents Myrnah and Eldon Ratliff, brothers Jerry Ratliff and Alvin Ratliff, uncle Burnell Goll (Bum), sister-in-law Dianne Spindler, son-in-law Greg Hayes, nephew Randall Ratliff, grandsons Austin Crystal and Nick Shaffer, granddaughters Blayke and Olivia Stupka.
He will be desperately missed by his (sassy ass) wife Delores, children Tina Hayes, Ronald Crystal (Kristi), Dawn Crystal (Dave Clouse), Misty Stupka (Todd) and Heath Michael (Megan), grandchildren John Stegmaier (Jaime), Candace Coon (Lance), Stephen Hayes, Kellan Stupka, Erinn Crystal, Addison Stupka, Amaya Michael, Isaiah Michael, Miles Krom, Ami Stupka, Piper Krom, Christopher (Man Baby) Stupka, great grandchildren Gabriel Coon, Austin Stegmaier, Cameron Stegmaier, Jonathen Coon, Elena Coon, Ronan Coon, Hadley Shaffer, Thurstin Coon. Sister Sandra Kuhlman (Steve), Brother Allen Ratliff (Twila), Uncle Lawrence Goll (Kay), Sister-in-law Debora Dick (John) along with an extensive list of loved family and friends.
A reception to celebrate Dalen's life will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, 113 S. Madison St., Smith Center, KS 66967. Memorials may be given to Kensington American Legion and/or Kensington Community Grocery Store and can be sent in care of the funeral chapel.