No headstone text available.
||Paul Burdett Ragsdale
||Section:Statesman's Meadow, Section 1 (E)
|Reason for Eligibility:
||Member, Texas House of Representatives
||January 14, 1945
||August 14, 2011
||August 22, 2011
RAGTSDALE, PAUL BURDETT (1945 ~ 2011). The following is an obituary for former state Rep. Paul Ragsdale of Jacksonville. The obituary was published in the Jacksonville Daily Progress soon after his death.
JACKSONVILLE — Honorable Paul B. Ragsdale, son of the late Mr. Simeon Ragsdale and Mrs. Emmittee Arnwine Ragsdale, moved into the full presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on August 14, 2011.
Born January 14, 1945, the Jacksonville, Texas native was reared in the Mt. Haven Community where he confessed faith in Christ at an early age and united with the Mt. Haven CME Church. He was a proud husband, family man, politician, musician and outdoorsman.
Paul began his education at Mt. Haven Elementary School and Fred Douglas High School in Jacksonville. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas in 1962 then matriculated to the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with a B.A., Sociology in 1966.
In 1972 he became one of the first African Americans to be elected to the Texas Legislature following the end of Reconstruction, where he represented District 110 (formerly 33N), which encompassed South Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas until 1986. In his fourteen years of service he was committed to addressing the problems of poor and minority citizens and advancing minority participation in politics and government. In his service he was the chair of the State, Federal, and International Relations committee and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.
Permanent contributions to Texans include: increasing employment opportunities for minorities and women, increasing political representation for minorities on state and local governing bodies, improving public contracting opportunities for small and minority business, improving the ability of Texas school districts to manage their scarce resources, and helping to overhaul the states system of public education. Representative Ragsdale has made a permanent mark on the Texas Capitol by having a reminder of the legislative service of Black Texans of the Reconstruction Era placed just off the rotunda next to the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Most of all he has left a mark on his family. He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Debbie, sisters: Lois Gregory of Dallas and Laurene Ragsdale of Dallas; five aunts: Opal Ragsdale-Lee of Jacksonville, Elmar A. Tilley of Dallas, Ruth A. Whitaker of Longview, Effie A. Clark of Killeen, and Freddye A. Cairo of Austin; five nephews: Klashun B. Ragsdale of Jacksonville, Godfrey Xenon Ragsdale and family of Amarillo, Daniel T. Ragsdale and family of Houston, Vincent Ragsdale and Joshua Ragsdale of San Juan Capistrano, CA; cousins: Ronnie Ragsdale and family of Jacksonville, Harvey and Francene Finnen, III and family of Pflugerville and countless friends who he either influenced or was influenced by his time with us.
Funeral services for Honorable Paul B. Ragsdale, age 66, of Jacksonville, are scheduled for 10:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville with Reverend Lee Roy Redwine and Reverend David Hallum officiating.
A private burial will be held at Texas State Cemetery in Austin, TX.
Services are under the direction of Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville.
Pallbearers will be Ronnie Ragsdale, Don Eaves, Willie McQueen, Vernon Anderson, Robert Silmon and Michael Brown.
Honorary pallbearers will be Artemis Bowens, Albert Francis, Jr., Lonnie Murphy, Caesar Roy, Cal Varner, Robert Bowens, Honorable C. F. “Spike” Moore, The Escort Band Members and Robbie Collins.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Friday, August 19, 2011, at Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville.