“The undiscovered country, from whose bourn, no traveller returns…” Hamlet

James “Jim” Frederick Ratteree, 65, passed away after a brief illness on May 22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Jim is survived by five children: Heather Felter of Cary, N.C.; Christian Ratteree of Barrington, R.I.; Kathleen Ratteree of Denmark, Wis.; Annie Ratteree of Chicago, Ill.; and Elle Ratteree of Kuala Lumpur. “He is also survived by six grandchildren: Andrew, Alex, Matthew, Nick, Jackson, and Daniel.”

Mr. Ratteree was born to the late William and Lula “Evelyn” (nee Seay) Ratteree on Sep. 1, 1947, in Columbia, S.C. He graduated from Dreher High School in 1965 and received a Bachelor of Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1971 and began a 40-year career specializing in airport design and planning.

He was married to Karen Mayhew from 1969-76. They had two children, Heather and Christian. After relocating to Evanston, Jim was married to Christine Costello (nee Connell) from 1979-2001.  While living in Evanston, Mr. Ratteree worked at noted architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, then Bevins Consultants and finally McClier Corporation in Chicago. He was a board member of Music of the Baroque; a design consultant for Evanston Research Park; and a member of the choir of First Presbyterian Church of Evanston.

In 1991 Mr. Ratteree’s work took him around the world, working in places such as Seoul, Korea; Saudi Arabia, Manila, Philippines; and Auckland, N.Z.  and eventually, Kuala Lumpur where he lived and worked for 19 years, marrying Aynie Intol and adopting a daughter, Elle in 2008. His aviation projects include O’Hare Airport; King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia; Singapore Airlines and Dulles International Airport among others. 

He was a true gourmand and enjoyed instructing anyone who would listen about the subtleties of freshly ground pepper, home-grown tomatoes and how to make perfect coffee. In his 20 years of world travel he learned much and loved sharing the wonders of various cultures with everyone he met. He especially loved lecturing his children, and they would listen (voluntarily or not). His love of travel inspired all four of his children to visit far-flung corners of the globe. He was also a classical music aficionado and would stream radio broadcasts of WFMT wherever he happened to be travelling. During his lifetime he touched many lives and is dearly missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations toward a flowering tree that will be planted by the City of Evanston in Raymond Park as a living memorial to the neighborhood where Mr. Ratteree loved raising his children. For more info please visit http://www.gofundme.com/35cda0. A memorial service is planned for June 15 at 1 p.m. at Walker Chapel at First Presbyterian Church in Evanston. 1427 Chicago Ave.