Lee Verdell Ragsdale, 91, a former Baker City resident, died March 4, 2004, at Medford.
His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. March 22 at the First Congregational Church of Christ in Portland.
He was born to Lee A. and Mable Ragsdale on Dec. 25, 1912, at Baker City. On May 29, 1939, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Crow. She died in 1998.
He was a 1930 Baker High School graduate. He attended Eastern Oregon College (now Eastern Oregon University) at La Grande where he was student body president from 1933 to 1935. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Willamette University at Salem in 1938. He later attended the University of Oregon at Eugene, receiving a master’s degree in P.E. in 1952 and a doctorate in physical education in 1966.
He was a high school teacher and coach at White Salmon, Wash., and at Camas, Wash. He then taught and coached at Mount Angel Prep School at Mount Angel.
He moved to Medford in 1948 where he taught and was the head football coach at Medford Senior High from 1948 to 1952. He also was an assistant track coach during all his years with the Medford School District.
He served as the director of athletics, physical education and health for the Medford School District from 1952 to 1966. In 1966, he moved to Portland where he was head of the Health and Physical Education Department for Portland State University from 1966 to 1978. He became dean of the School of Health & P.E. at Portland State University in 1977, retiring from PSU in 1978.
Ragsdale was actively involved in a a number of professional organizations in his field. He was the president of the Northwest District American Association of Health, P.E. and Recreation from 1976 to 1978. He was a delegate to the National Physical Education and Health Assembly traveling to Washington, D.C., in 1959, 1969, 1977 and 1978. He served as a physical education and health consultant for numerous school districts throughout Oregon.
He loved athletics as a participant, coach and spectator. He enjoyed many outdoor activities throughout his life including camping, hunting and golf and was an avid salmon and steelhead fisherman.
He traveled extensively and had a lively, curious intellect always keeping a book at his side. He referred to himself as “just an Eastern Oregon boy.”
Survivors include his daughter, Dana Kramer of Medford; a son, Richard Ragsdale of Skillman, N.J.; two brothers, Duane Ragsdale of New York and Orville Ragsdale of Baker City; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Medford School District Athletic Fund, 500 Monroe St., Medford, OR 97501 or to a charity of one’s choice.
The Litwill & Simonsen Funeral Home of Ashland is in charge of arrangements.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 19, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor