Cover photo for James Michael Ragland's Obituary
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1943 James 2022

James Michael Ragland

November 13, 1943 — January 29, 2022

James Michael Ragland passed peacefully on January 29, 2022, from a strong, several year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.   

 

Born in St. Louis, MO, on November 13, 1943, to Rosalie and Turner Ragland, Jim was the third of seven children. His fondest childhood memories came from a decade of summers spent at his great grandpa, aunts and uncles’ farm in Owensville, MO, where he'd work as a farm boy with his brothers. It was there he developed a strong work ethic and a complementary dose of down home values. He lovingly returned often over the years.  

 

Jim is survived by his six children, Vicky Dorenkamp (Bob), Jim Ragland, Steve Ragland (Jen), Jennifer Ragland (Tony Hebert), Lauren Ragland, and Anne Ragland (Steve Luoma), his nine grandchildren, (Ashley, Nick, Tara, Cole, Jackson, Kate, Zoe, Arden and Porter) and five brothers, Ron Ragland, Bill Ragland, Tom Ragland, Ray Ragland, TG Ragland, and sister, Sue Lenox.  

 

His lifelong love of football took off when he excelled, with statewide recognition, alongside his two older brothers on the Berkeley High School football team in St. Louis. He attended MU at Rolla until he married and the first of his six children was born.

 

Jim could be reserved in social situations, but focused and fiery when it came to work. This proved a successful combination. With a stint in the aerospace field, he spent the majority of his career as a recruiter for engineers and technologists. He loved it so much, he became a successful entrepreneur founding a staffing company in 1996 in Roswell, GA, named Associated Staffing, Inc. He ran and operated it until 2019.

 

When Jim wasn’t at his office, he enjoyed running and staying active. A Saturday morning was often spent either on the treadmill or out for a jog in his Alpharetta neighborhood, followed by relaxing at the pool. Weekends may include a drive up to the mountains with a stop at his favorite casino in Cherokee, NC. He often had a lucky streak. Back to the office on Monday, anticipating the new “reqs,” executing his signature cold calls, and securing permanent placements. He’d often say, with a touch of pride, that he’ll work until the day he dies.

 

Jim was the type of guy you’d want to meet if you found yourself in a bad spot or in need of someone who would listen to you. He could tell by an inflection or glance when something was wrong with one of his children. For his kids and loved ones, he always had time to listen, helping them understand how to solve a problem or craft the realization that there was none at all. He was an eternal optimist. “Everything will be great,” he would often say. Even when it appeared not to be, he made you believe that it soon would be.  

 

Though Jim’s love for the outdoors, sailing and sports were earthbound, he was intrigued by the supernatural. What lay beyond our human senses appealed to him. From the telescopes he used to view the night’s sky to what he saw in the clouds that hung low, his imagination burst with possibilities of what might be.  

 

His individualism didn’t stop there. When sharing something in privacy, he’d say “Let’s keep this between you, me and the goalposts.” Excitedly, he’d often say, “Sh_t fire!” another farm boy legacy. And when you called him on the phone, you may get a straightforward, “YO,” or to mix it up, he’d say, “YAVVO!” Pleased with something, he’d respond, “Super Duper!”  

 

In his later years, a gentle nature emerged in his personality. He always had a sweet tooth and took full advantage of it as he matured. He savored countless M&Ms, chocolate shakes and the sweet hours spent with his children. Simply sitting together and talking turned into a cherished moment. The simplest became the sweetest.  

 

A memorial will be held for Jim at the cherished family farm in Owensville, MO, later this spring.


He will then rest in peace alongside his beloved parents at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.



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