Cover photo for Virginia Ragsdale's Obituary
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1920 Virginia 2016

Virginia Ragsdale

July 4, 1920 — April 27, 2016

Obituary for Virginia Ragsdale

Virginia L. Ragsdale left this earth on April 27, 2016, to be reunited in heaven with her beloved husband, Norman, wearing her red two-piece swimsuit she wore in 1953 that turned Norman’s head.

Virginia was born July 4, 1920, in Lawrence, Kansas, to Ura Ethylin Bowers and Byron Norton Roberts. When she was 17, they made the long journey to California to start a new life there. She graduated from high school in 1938, married soon after and had a daughter, Dawn Kathleen McGowan, who preceded her in death.

Virginia married the love of her life, Norman J. Ragsdale, on Dec. 4, 1953, after a very short courtship. To this union, a loving daughter, Christine, was born. Virginia and Norman were married 34 years.

Virginia loved volunteer work. She gave her time to the Missoula Aging Services for several years. She was an avid reader who loved nature and the simple things in life.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Mary Victoria Roberts and Margaret Chetwood.

Virginia is survived by her daughter, Chris (Doug) Watson of Missoula, and their family, Chance and Janiece Watson (Jaylin and Briella) of Gillette, Wyoming, as well as Trey Watson (Sara and Alicesun) of Spokane, Washington; and Virginia’s granddaughter, Karrie Lawerance (Christopher and Joseph) of North Carolina.

Always classy and elegant, Virginia was the epitome of style, whether it was the day she fulfilled a dream of riding in a helicopter at age 92 or when she had her hair dyed a beautiful light pink and purple. She was daring and adventurous in everything she did.

The lives Virginia touched are too many to name, but they know who they are. She wouldn’t want tears shed because she’s no longer with us; she would want us to smile when the sunshine hits our faces, laugh when the summer breeze tickles our cheeks and remember, with each autumn leaf that gracefully floats to the ground, the fabulously full life that Virginia lived. She really lived!

Virginia’s family wishes to thank the kind and loving caregivers at Partners Hospice of Missoula, Mountain View Village Assisted Living and Mineral Community Hospital of Superior, including her special “other daughter” Cathy Jones, and “honorary granddaughter” Sammi Francis.

Per Virginia’s request, a remembrance of her life will be held at a later date. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. Condolences for Virginia’s family may be sent to

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia Ragsdale, please visit our flower store.


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