Joseph B. Ragsdale dies peacefully at the age of 99

 Ragsdale, Joseph Benjamin “Gentleman Joe” was born in Martin, Tennessee on September 2, 1911 and died peaceful in his sleep October the 9th.  He was preceded in death by his parents May Bell and John Adam Ragsdale, his son Joseph Benjamin Ragsdale, Jr. and his wife of 47 years, Doris “DeeDee” Walter Baxter Ragsdale. He is survived by his brother John Adam Ragsdale, Jr. of Highland, California, daughters, Billie Dahl of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Virginia “Ginger” Anderson of Laguna Woods, California, Linda Mueller and son-in-law Jim Mueller of Flagstaff, Arizona, Daughter-in law Sherry Ragsdale of Whittier, California, Stepson John Thurlow Baxter of Prescott Arizona, 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 15 great, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He moved his family to California during World War II when he was hired as a procurement officer at Norton AFB. After the war he went to work with Sherwin Williams Paint Co. in Monrovia where he managed the store for 30 years. Not quite ready to completely retire when Tom Adams offered him a position with Century 21 he did not hesitate as real estate was something he had always shown an interest in.

Mr. Ragsdale was a long standing member of the Rotary Club of Monrovia, serving as its President in 1955/1956.   Joe was very active in the board of Santa Anita Family YMCA and served with distinction during the time when it gained its independence from Pasadena in 1999. He was involved in organized real estate for many years receiving his real estate license in 1972 and continuing on until recognized as a “Life Member” of the California Association of Realtors .  At the age of 95 Joe received a standing ovation from over 800 attendees at the Century 21 Regional Awards Dinner for achieving membership in the Masters Awards Club for that year. He is a life member of the Elks and past member of the Kiwanis . He was a long time member of the Monrovia Tennis club where he played tennis into his early 80’s. He was a member of the Monrovia Dance Club. He and his wife DeeDee were outstanding ballroom dancers. He was also active in the Monrovia Chambers of Commerce.

Joe was recognized as someone of integrity. Music was a large part of his life and always in his home. He began playing the piano when he was 7 years old and later put together a band while he  in college. For many years he was involved in the musical productions at Royal Oaks Manor. Joe loved house boating, camping, and fishing with family and friends and traveling the world with his wife DeeDee. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends and the community which he so dearly loved.

The Celebration of life for Joseph B. Ragsdale will be Friday, October 29th at 6:30.  The location will be at the Monrovia Historical Museum at 742 E. Lemon Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016.  Donations may be made to the Santa Anita Family YMCA at 501 S. Mountain Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016