John Ragsdale

John R. Ragsdale, 85, of Malvern, died Saturday, August 12, 2023.

He was born April 13, 1938, at DeWitt, the son of A.J. and Rachel Crowder Ragsdale.  He spent his childhood around Pine Bluff and was a graduate of Woodlawn High School in Cleveland County. Most of his adult life was spent on newspaper work beginning in 1956 with the Pine Bluff Commercial.  He was advertising manager of three daily newspapers before becoming general manager of the Daily Siftings Herald in Arkadelphia. He and his late wife, the former Betty Jane Gavin, became owners and publishers of the Nevada County Picayune in Prescott and the Gurdon Times.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife of 51 years, Betty Jane Gavin Ragsdale, whom he married May 29, 1957 in Pine Bluff; daughter, Phyllis Jackson; grandson, Dustin Harris; five sisters; and two brothers.

Survivors include his wife of 14 years, Betty Vines Ragsdale, whom he married in 2009; his surviving children, John “Ricky” Ragsdale, Jr. (Teresa) of Little Rock, Lisa Beebe (Tom) of Bentonville, Darlene Gregory of Jonesboro and Sherry Ergle (Rex) of Sikeston, Missouri; nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; and one brother, Vernon Leon “Pete” Ragsdale of DeWitt.

He was a member and former elder of Tanner Street Church of Christ in Malvern.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in the Chapel of Ralph Robinson and Son with Mr. Dan Henderson officiating.  Burial will follow in Pansy Cemetery in Cleveland County.  Visitation will be Tuesday morning from 9:30 a.m. until service time at Robinson’s.

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