John Henry Ragland, Sr., 77, of Bayard, remembered as a servant of the LORD and SAVIOR, left this earth to be with his HEAVENLY FATHER on Saturday, December 2, 2017. He passed on peacefully while in his home surrounded by family and friends. There will be a Victory and Celebration of Life Service to be held at 10 AM on Monday, December 11, 2017 at Community Bible Church in Bayard with Pastor Brad Kilthau officiating. Those attending are urged to wear bright cheerful colored clothing to celebrate John’s reunion with his LORD. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery with military honors by the United States Navy Honor Guard and Bayard Honor Guard. Visitation will be from 1-6 PM on Sunday at Dugan-Kramer Funeral Chapel in Scottsbluff and one hour prior to the service at church. Memorials may be given to the Community Bible Church, PO Box 672, Bayard, NE 69334. Online condolences may be left by visiting John’s Tribute page at www.dugankramer.com
John was born February 28, 1940 at Tilden, Nebraska to John Henry Ragland, Sr and Mabel (Stahl) Ragland. He attended Sunflower High School in Mitchell, NE. John joined the United States Navy on June 26, 1958 and served his country until his honorable discharge on April 11, 1962.
After leaving the Navy, he worked for John B. Cook on the Snake Creek Ranch in Alliance, then farmed and ranched in Banner County for 15+ years for Jim and Duane Alexander and later worked for the Banner County Road Department for 23 years. John loved working with heavy equipment and running the road grader (the bigger the better). He would stop and have coffee and visit with residents along the way. He retired from the Banner County Road Department in September of 2005 and moved to Bayard where he quickly made many friends and found his niche in working with the earth again. In 2011 he began working for the State of Nebraska doing what he loved – driving the road grader!
John was a member of Community Bible Church and the DAV in Bayard, serving as commander and assisting with several ceremonies there. He also served on the Bayard Depot Museum Board for three years.
On October 15, 1961, John married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Kay Matilainen at the Methodist Church in Doniphan, Nebraska. To this union, two children were born: John “Butch” Henry Ragland, Jr., and Kathleen “Kathy” Jo Ragland. John and Sharon celebrated 56 years of marriage this year.
John’s mission in life was to have as many people as possible to know and experience, the love of his LORD and to accept HIM as their personal SAVIOR in their lives. He loved to work in his lawn, dance, ride motorcycles, do cowboy/ranch work, and loved the outdoors and the mountains. He also liked working alongside his wife Sharon “Sheri”. John’s friends and family were important to him. He enjoyed having picnics, holidays, coffee and meals with them, and jam sessions. His home was open to all. John never knew a stranger as he loved people and really enjoyed working and helping others. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed by all.
John is survived by his wife Sheri Ragland of Bayard; son John “Butch” Ragland, Jr. and his wife Marilyn of Burlington, Ontario, Canada; daughter Kathleen “Kathy” Ragland and Sam Pena of Tucson, AZ; sisters-in-law Susan (sister Sue) Ragland of Douglas, WY; brother-in-law William “Bill” Vercimak of Bayard; sister-in-law Johnnie Jean “JJ” Velasquez and her husband Jose of Mitchell and Julia Lee “Julia” Helling and her husband Greg of Mitchell; brother-in-law Rodney “Rod” Matilainen and his wife Kathy of Scottsbluff; sister-in-law Sonya Reed of Oroville, CA; aunts, uncles; nieces; nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, brother Gene, and his father-in-law and mother-in-law.