Obituaries: The Rev. Donald O. Rackliffe

The Rev. Donald O. Rackliffe, 88, of Feeding Hills, MA, former Bristol resident and widow of Lucille (Morgan) Rackliffe, died Wednesday (June 1, 2016) at the Atrium, Agawam, MA. Rev. Rackliffe was born April 10, 1928 in New Britain, CT and was a son of the late Frederick O. and Mabel (Foster) Rackliffe. Rev. Rackliffe graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1952 and the Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1955. Rev. Rackliffe was ordained a Deacon in June 1954 and fully ordained in June 1956. Rev. Rackliffe served in Methodist churches in Waterbury, CT, Milford, CT, Cutchogue, NY, before serving the Asbury United Methodist Church, Forestville, CT from 1964 to 1978, and then West Hartford, CT, and New Milford, CT. He also served as Chaplin at the Bristol Hospital for six years before retiring in August 31, 1998. He attended the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and was a former member of the Bristol Rotary Club. He was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran of World War II. Donald was passionate for many causes from working with youth to human rights.   He marched with Martin Luther King back in the early 60’s.   Donald leaves a legacy of kindness and compassion.  All the world was his congregation. Rev. Rackliffe is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Scott M. and Trudy Rackliffe of Feeding Hills, MA; a daughter and son-in-law, Claudia and Karl Wittenzellner of Enfield; a daughter-in-law, Sara Rackliffe; seven grandchildren, Daniel, Ryan and Justin Rackliffe, Marcia Morris, Victoria Jose, and Aaron and Kale Kimble; six great grandchildren, August, Maeghan, Kellen, Timothy, Samuel, and Jillian; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by a son, Timothy J. Rackliffe, two brothers, Dr. Robert L. Rackliffe and Foster Rackliffe, and a sister, Janet Menz. Funeral services were held on Monday (June 6, 2016) 2 P.M. at the Asbury United Methodist Church, Forestville with The Reverend Laura Galbraith, Pastor officiating. The organist was Jana Ros. The committal service and Military honors followed at church. Burial will be private in Peacedale Cemetery, Bristol. Funk Funeral Home 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol was in care of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Asbury United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund, 90 Church Ave., Forestville, CT 06010. Please visit Rev. Rackliffe’s memorial website at