Hugo John Ratti of Amherst died on December 16th at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital after a short illness. He was 87 years old. Born in Charleston, W.Va. to Hugo John Ratti Sr. of Proctor, Vermont and Violet Dodd of Charleston, he grew up in Manhasset, Long Island, later graduated from Middlebury College, then earned an A.M. degree from New York University.
He worked nearly all his professional life in New York City as an editor with various publishing companies: Grolier, American Heritage, Seabury Press, Church Publishing. He also served on the PEN Committee for translation into English. After retirement to Amherst, he continued for some years to work as a freelance editor and was one of the founders of Scandinavian Arts and Letters, headquartered in Millers Falls.
He was also a poet, with work published in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, and Harper's Magazine. He is the author of four collections of poetry: A Remembered Darkness (Viking, 1969), Memorial Day (Viking, 1974), Samson's Riddle (Hanging Loose Press, 1985), and Daybooks (Two Herons Press, 1993).
He was predeceased by the members of his immediate family, and his ashes are to be buried, according to his wishes, in a family grave in Charleston, W. Va. He will be missed by many old friends and colleagues.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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