Lolete Bales Ratliﬀ was born on February 9, 1913, and passed away on March 26, 2019. It marked a significant milestone in her life when she celebrated her 106th birthday with her friends and family last month.
Lolete grew up in Lone Grove, where her farming and ranching family settled as pioneers around 1880. She was born to Marvin Bales and Lillie Templeton Bales. Lolete graduated from Lone Grove High School in 1930, one out of a class of ﬁve. She excelled in tennis and competed in doubles tennis at the state UIL championship. She also demonstrated musical talent as a self-taught pianist. After graduating, Lolete attended Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Belton.
Lolete married Joe Ratliﬀ in February 1938, and while he was serving at Kelly Airﬁeld during World War II, the couple lived in San Antonio. There, Lolete attended Johnson Beauty College and also gave birth to the couple’s only child, Alberteen, who was named after Lolete’s brother.
Following the war, she and Joe returned to Llano, where Lolete established her own beauty salon and brought up her daughter, with whom she shared her love of music.
Lolete was widowed in 1977 but continued to live independently in Llano until the age of 90, when she moved to Killeen to be near her daughter. Throughout the remainder of her life, she was known for her impeccable appearance. She delighted in playing 42, dominoes, and bingo and in adding to her extensive collection of owls. Lolete counted herself fortunate in having inherited good genes, and she also attributes her longevity to a reliably sunny outlook on life.
Lolete was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; sister Margaret Bales Ratliﬀ; and brother Albert Bales.
Surviving her are her daughter, Alberteen “Tina;” sister Anita Bales Stone; numerous nieces and nephews; two Templeton ﬁrst cousins; and many precious friends.
Lolete was a source of wisdom and inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know her. A celebration of her life will be at a chapel service at Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Home in Llano at 11 a.m. March 30 with interment to follow at the family plot in Llano City Cemetery.
Arrangements by Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Home, 307 E. Sandstone in Llano, (325) 247-4300. Email condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.