James Madison Ragland, of Clinton and St. Louis, Missouri dies at age 90.
James Madison Ragland
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Farmer, Marine, Teacher, Conservationist, and Community Activist.
On January 26, 2021, James Madison Ragland died on his 90th birthday, surrounded by his family at home in Florissant, Missouri. He will be remembered as a teacher, farmer, and wildlife conservationist.
During the Great Depression on January 26, 1931, Jim was born in Montrose, Missouri. His parents, James Baker Ragland and Eva Fern (Ohare) Ragland, were modest farmers in Deepwater.
Jim was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1953, he was assigned to the 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, H&S Company, and stationed in Japan.
Upon discharge from the Marines, Jim attended Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, MO, graduating in 1956 with a B.S. in Education. In 1963, he earned a Master’s in Education, majoring in chemistry and physics. Jim had come a long way from teaching in a one-room schoolhouse: the Walnut Valley Rural School near Lakeview Heights, MO.
He met the love of his life, Peggy Ann Kinyon of Clinton, MO, at a Democratic political rally. They married on May 4, 1956, in Clinton and moved to St. Louis. Jim taught at Normandy Junior and Senior High Schools from 1956-1983. In 1961, he was the first chemistry lab instructor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
James served many years at Missouri Boy Scouts camps as an instructor, on the board of directors for Heritage House, a retirement community for school teachers, and was an active member of the National Education Association and the Missouri NEA.
In his retirement, Jim was a wildlife conservationist active with numerous national organizations. However, he had a passion for teaching hunter safety through the Missouri Department of Conservation for 30 years. For many years, he organized St. Louis area instructors to help young people fish at the St. Louis Boat and Sportshow trout pond.
Jim received many awards for his professional work and voluntarism. In 2019, he received the Missouri Hunter Education Instructor of the Year award. However, the award Jim was most proud of came from the Future Farmers of America in 1943 and 1944 for his notebook entitled, “How Our Farm Can Help Win the War.” Jim received the first-place cash award of $5.00. He sent the prize-winning notebook was sent to Washington, D.C.
He enjoyed reading, traveling with his wife, Mizzou football, hunting, family history, and volunteering at his church and community. J
im is survived by his wife, Peggy Ann (Kinyon) Ragland of Florissant; daughter Debora Ann and Larry Buerk of Seattle, Washington; daughter Linda Sue and Jerry Little of Florissant; grandson Nico and Joy Little and great-granddaughter Savannah of Wentzville, grand-daughter Megan and Aaron Daut of Seattle, Washington; and grand-dog Clyde.
His funeral was held in March 2021 in Clinton, Missouri. The family will hold a celebration of life scheduled at a future date in St. Louis, Missouri.
Debora Ragland Buerk
Daughter of James Madison Ragland
and sometimes family historian
Writer, Editor. and
sometimes family historian