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Loving Memorial for Hidi Ja Ratliff

Hidi and MomHidi, Mom, and OrvilleHidi the Cheerleader Hidi's Senior Picture
Hidi Ja Ratliff Angel Wings
September 4, 1970 † August 16, 1987
Remembering Hidi
My Fallen Angel

It was a tragic day in Detroit, Michigan when Northwest’s Flight 255 crashed shortly after departure on that Sunday, August 16, 1987. Returning from a summer visitation with her father, Donnie Ratliff, of Toledo, Ohio, 16 year old Hidi Ja Ratliff had boarded Northwest Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82 with 156 fellow travelers.

Hidi's mother, Mary Ann, was enjoying raising her and the two of them were very close. In time, Mary Ann met her man, Orville McGee, and the family soon became three.

When Hidi's young life was cut short, she was a 16 year old Varsity Cheerleader, and a Senior at Costa Mesa High School in Southern California. She was popular with kids, teenagers and seemed adored by every adult she came in contact with. Her Mother stated "If I could have custom ordered a child, I could not have ordered a more perfect model.� She was cute, loving, and cuddly as a small child with boundless energy.� She was my energy, my strength, and my reason for living." She was in the Children's Screen Guild and did some extra parts in "Family", Eight is Enough" and "BJ and the Bear". She was sweet, loving, and giving, and a real dynamo from the word go, I'll miss her forever, and love her always, for I have lost not once, but twice, as she was not only my beloved daughter, but she was also my "Best Friend".

Through her shock and grief, Mary Ann wrote a heartfelt poem (see column to the right) dedicated to her daughter titled "My Fallen Angel" which was read during Hidi's Costa Mesa High School Memorial Service on September 4, 1987.

Mary Ann and Orville are active members of the Flight 255 Support Group. They are active in their Orange County, California community as business owners for over 30 years. Mary Ann & Orville have memorialized Hidi by naming their boat "Miss Hidi Ja", Investment Property is Hidi Ja Investments and our eMail address is

So young, so loving,
So giving, so sweet,
We'll love you forever
So please do not weep.

Your smiles were abundant,
Wanting people to laugh:
You were always fun loving,
Sometimes upsetting the staff.

Always kind, considerate,
Responsible too,
You would strive for perfection
In whatever you'd do.

You could be outrageous:
But only precious to me,
As you were near perfect,
When taken from me.

Our time together is cherished:
As I look for answers WHY?
But nothing seems to happen,
So I can't seem to say good-bye!

With Love,
your mother, your friend,
and your biggest fan.

Mary Ann Ratliff-McGee©1987

Costa Mesa High School Logo

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