Mary A. Garrity Ragland

Mary A. Garrity Ragland, in failing health for several years, died on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, surrounded by family. A forty-year resident of the Rogue Valley, Mary moved to Portland three years ago. She was born in Nashua, N.H. on June 7, 1927, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1948, before moving to Oregon, where she met her husband, James M. Ragland, who preceded her in death. Her only sibling, Helen Richardson, and a son, Bruce Allen Ragland, also preceded her in death. She is survived by five children, Vicki A. Johnson and son-in-law, Milton D. Johnson, of Portland, Cynthia Ragland and son-in-law, Patrick J. Carey, of Albuquerque, N.M., Todd Ragland and daughter-in-law, Satoko Matoyoshi Ragland, of Portland, Christopher Ragland and partner Karen Morris-Denby, of Melbourne, Australia, and Betsy Allen Ragland, of Eugene. She is also survived by her niece, Holly Nelson, of Portland; and her two nephews, Mark Nelson, of Salem and Scott Nelson, of Bremerton, Wash. She left six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, Benjamin Ragland, of Auckland, New Zealand, Ryan and Fenn Dwyer, of Eugene, Jeremiah, Ian, and Courtney Johnson, of Portland, Katherine Carey, of West Springfield, Mass., and Rebecca Carey, of Bristol, R.I. Mary and her husband, James, were long active in politics, the arts, and theatre in the Rogue Valley. A social worker in Oregon for several years before having children, Mary was a former school board member of Ashland Public Schools and a long-time supporter of many state and local initiatives, including land-use planning, education, and public libraries.

Mary was cremated, and no memorial service was held at her request. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ashland Public Library.