James Lee Ragsdale was born on February 28, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri to the union of Lee Ragsdale and Myrtle Duncan. He was raised in Bethel A.M.E. Church and later joined Paseo Baptist Church.
He graduated from R.T. Coles/Lincoln High School in the Kansas City, Missouri School District in 1942. He attended college for 2 years in Seguin, Texas and later enlisted in the United States Army in 1944. He served in World War II as a Sergeant which included a tour in France.
James worked for many years at Vile Goller, but was a Mason and master carpenter. He helped numerous businesses around Kansas City in the area of carpentry and contracting. Not only was he a Trustee at Paseo Baptist Church, James served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee and was an integral part of the South Wing assisting Pastor Charles Briscoe and Pastor Delmar White.
James was married to Helen Jean Ragsdale (Burnett) on July 21, 1949. To this union five children were born, Ronald James, Deborah Eloise, Denise Lorraine, Wanda Jean, and Beverly Carol.
He loved life, spending time with family, and listening to his favorite genre of music which was jazz. He often was observed reading the newspaper or looking at news channels. His knowledge of the world showed his passion for learning and teaching others with whom he interacted.
On Sunday, January 19, 2020, James transitioned from this life to be with his Heavenly Father. He was preceded in transition by his son, Ronald James Ragsdale, sister, Zephyr Mae, parents, Lee and Myrtle, and grandson, James Lee Ragsdale II.
He leaves to cherish memories to his devoted wife of 70 years, Helen Jean Ragsdale of the home; daughters, Deborah, Denise, Wanda, and Beverly; grandchildren, Stacey (Michael), El’Teante, Rahman, Armand, Arien, Mariah, and Luqman; great-grandchildren, Justin, Jordan, Zahir, Kwalee, Ronald; all of Kansas City, Missouri and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends that will miss his loving presence and spirit.
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