Thursday, July 7, 2016

Vernon Lee Ragsdale 1918 - 2006

Vernon Lee (Rip) Ragsdale was born January 6, 1918 in Santa Anna, Coleman, Texas to William Hamilton Ragsdale and Elizabeth (Bettie) Samantha Graham.  As a kid he owned a tricycle. He graduated High School in Santa Ana.  He attended Hardin Simmons University in Abaline Texas with a B.S. Degree in Business administration in 1939.  He went to work for Robert and McKee general contractor at Camp Bowie in Brownswood Texas in 1940.

From there to Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls Texas.  From there to Benicia California, then to El Paso, Texas Bastrop Texas, Ogden, Utah where me met and married Kathryn Mitchell on January 15, 1944.  From there me moved to El Toro Marine Base in Irvine.  From there to Los Angeles office 6 weeks.  From there to Lompoc, California where built a prison at Camp Cook.

Our only son Michael Vernon was born there on September 11, 1946.  Then to Los Angeles office 6-8 weeks.  Then to Los Almos NM and Santa Fe .  In May 1948 was transferred to office in Los Angles where he worked until his retirement.  He was assistant Secretary and Treasurer when they incorporated in 1950.  In 1986 was elected as the assistant vice president and division accounting manager until his retirement January 7, 1986.

Kent late 1950s: I remember going with my dad and the Elders Quorum to the Ragsdale home.   Michael and I were about scout age.  They had two very large trees they wanted to get rid of.  The trees were towering and posed a danger to the home on Alameda.   So the good church members got together and felled the tree, cut both of them up and cleaned up the yard.  It wasn’t that big a deal but I remember Rip Katie as being very grateful and gracious. 

Rip's wife was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  In the early 1960s he was asked by the bishop to be the scoutmaster for the ward.  Rip took us camping, hiking and helped us get various scouting awards.  He was an excellent leader to a very large, active group of boys.  I don't remember him ever getting upset or angry although we deserved it many times.  One outing was the Silver Moccasin Hike which was 65 miles and ended in a camp in the Angeles Forest.  That was quite a challenge for all of us.  Clay Crowley went with us as an assistant leader.  He will always be remembered for being an excellent leader who taught us how to become men.  In 1974 Rip joined the church and in 1978 he went through the Los Angeles Temple.  

Their son Michael has adverts on the internet for a home construction business in Big Bear and sells wildlife photographsMichael is an inventor, engineer and photographer.

Rip's daughter:  My grandparents meant and always will mean the world to me. I moved to Glendale in 1995, from Seattle, to help out my other Grandmother, after my Grandpa passed. It was suppose to be temporary arrangement, but I met my husband the day I arrived.  He is from Glendale.

Grandma Katie passed when my twins were 8 months. And I had the pleasure of taking care of Grandpa Rip the last years of his life.  Without her, it was devastating. But he stayed in his home till the last month when he moved to Big Bear.  My Dad, My Brother Devin & I  had the honor of holding his hand as he passed.  There is a hole in my heart thinking of them being gone, but grateful they are together.

Grandma Katie was quite an accomplished artist. Tole Painting was her specialty.  She started in the 1970's.


1952 Christmas Card


First row LtoR: Walter Henry,  Kent Gardiner, Vernon Jolley, then Mike Reeder and Hugh Brown.
Second row: Tad Callister, Brent Frost, Wayne LeCheminant, Don Browne and Lynn Reeder. 
Standing: Mike Ragsdale, Jim LeCheminant, Steve Leeper, Gordon Christiansen, John Broberg, Brian Pettit, Charles Brown and Vernon "Rip" Ragsdale


Michael Ragsdale, Hoover High School


Michael, Vernon