Obituary of James Henry Ragland
James “Jim” Henry Ragland died peacefully at his home on Sept. 13, 2023, following a brief battle with cancer.
Jim was born December 24, 1942, in Kirksville, Missouri, the son of James William and Mary Catherine Sandknop Ragland. He grew up in Edina, Missouri, attending St. Joseph Elementary and Edina High School, where he graduated in 1960. Jim earned a BS in Business Administration from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Missouri, now known as Truman State University.
Jim married Rosalea Lawson on August 13, 1966, at St. Aloysius Church in Baring, Missouri. Their family grew with the addition of Kathleen, Erin, and John through the years. While living in Ottumwa, Iowa he enjoyed numerous recitals, concerts, school events, graduations, and was a referee in multiple sports. He coached baseball and basketball teams, headed up United Way campaigns, all while earning a MA in Healthcare Administration from the University of Colorado and Des Moines University.
Jim's work history was full of variety and adventure. His time in hospital and clinic administration spanned a 37 year career that took Jim and Rosalea to a number of places in Iowa, Arizona, and Missouri. He retired in 2005 and they moved to Iowa City.
His time in Iowa City was spent shuttle driving for a local car dealer, working in security during Hawkeye football games, and as a proctor at the University of Iowa College of Law. He volunteered at the VA Hospital, the Free Lunch program, and served as the treasurer of his condo association. He was a constant presence at his grandchildren’s school and sporting events, birthdays, and holiday dinners, where he shared his interests in sports, joke-telling, life lessons, and just having fun. He loved his granddogs and they loved him back.
Jim’s family includes his wife, Rosalea; their children Kathleen (Bill) Henricksen, Erin (Reid) McDonald, John (Kam) Ragland; and Jim and Rosalea’s grandchildren, Mary Claire Henricksen, Will Henricksen, Mia McDonald, Nolan McDonald, and Ivy and Jackson Ragland.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, Charles Henry Ragland; his parents, James William and Mary Catherine Ragland; sisters, Kaye Bloom, Annie Eyler, and Mary Roettger; and niece Suzanne Bloom.
A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church in Iowa City. Visitation will be from 11:30 am-1:00 pm, followed by a funeral Mass at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established at the Knox County Community Center in Edina, Missouri.
His sense of humor and compassion for others will be missed greatly by all who knew him, especially his wife, children, and grandchildren. He is irreplaceable in our hearts and loved infinitely.