Millard Ray Ragain was born on September 3, 1937 in a log cabin of the family homestead at Upton, MO. He was the 4th child of Oba Ray and Grace Campbell Ragain. He passed away on June 17, 2013 at Cox South, following a massive stroke. He was 75 years of age. He attended grade school in a one room country school house at Pleasant Ridge and attended Houston High School.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ray and Grace and one sister Virginia Colleen.
He is survived by his Daughter Rhonda and husband James Kemp of Ozark, MO, his Son Gaylord and wife Pam Ragain of Houston, MO, two Grandsons, Travis Ray Kemp and Lance Howard Kemp both of Ozark, MO; His Brother Clovis (Bud) Ragain of Upton, MO, three sisters: Fern Parks of St. Louis, MO, Dorothy and husband Dean Pinkston of Houston, MO and Rosemary and husband Keith Walls of Cabool, MO, numerous nieces, nephews and a host of relatives and friends.
He married Erma Burch on November 28, 1957. The couple had two children; a daughter Rhonda Rae and a son Gaylord Don. When they married he was employed at McDonald Aircraft in St. Louis, but one week later the plant had a huge layoff and he was among the unfortunate ones. They moved back to Houston but times were hard and jobs were scarce. After several months of searching he got a job on the night shift at Red Cap Service Station where he would pump gas all night, go home and sleep for about 5 hours, get up and go to wash cars at Akins Motor Co. until his next shift at Red Cap. He kept up this 17 hour a day routine for about a year until he landed a job on the assembly line at Brauer Brothers Shoe Co. in Cabool. In 1977 he made foreman for Brown Shoe Co. He ran the packing room in plants at Cabool, Houston, and Pocahontas, AR until the company moved out of the US. He then, along with his brother Clovis (Bud) Ragain purchased the family farms where they raised beef cattle for many years.
His hobbies were hunting and fishing. His favorite time of the year was deer season. He would be so excited the night before opening day that we wouldn’t go to sleep all night. He and Gaylord would be in the deer woods long before daylight waiting for the first big buck to come along. They would be joined by a group of special friends and in later years by his Grandsons, Travis and Lance, who took up the family tradition as well. He loved being outdoors. On the day of his stroke he had been fishing all day and shared with both Rhonda and Gaylord on the phone that evening about what a fine day he’d had. The weather never got to bad to keep him inside. He and Gaylord cut many a load of wood during snow and ice storms. He also loved to garden and was famous for his bountiful harvests and was happy to share them with anyone who wanted or could use them.
He was a good provider and saw to his family’s every need as best he could. He often said some of his best memories were when Erma worked the night shift at the Lee Co. and he kept the kids. Rhonda, age 6 at the time, prepared and served supper each night. He said “She took real good care of Gaylord and me, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.” After 20 years of marriage, he and Erma were divorced.
Mib didn’t live a Christian life, but in his last days, through the prayers of the dedicated Chaplains at Cox South and the hundreds of prayers of Family and Friends we feel that he made peace with his Lord and Savior. Though he couldn’t speak he responded by squeezing our hands when we prayed with him about his salvation. The Bible says “bring up your children in the ways of the Lord and they will return”. He was most certainly brought up in the ways of the Lord through unwavering efforts of his deeply faithful parents.
Our circle is broken, along with our hearts, but we believe we will all be reunited in Heaven with him and loved ones who’ve gone on before. So Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and Friend, we love you, we’ll never ever forget you and we’ll see you on the other side.
Services were June 21st at 11 AM in the Hickory Ridge Church. Pastor Russell Kane officiated with burial in Hickory Ridge Cemetery. Pallbearers were Gaylord Ragain, James Kemp, Lance Kemp, Travis Kemp, Dearl Walls and Allen Starr. Memorials may be given to Hickory Ridge Cemetery. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home. On-line condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com