Adora “Dody” Ragsdale went to the loving embrace of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, June 19, 2020. She passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family.
Dody was born in Waynesville, on May 31, 1939, the oldest of four children of John Aaron and Adora Holtzclaw Prevost.
Her love of the North Carolina mountains remained with her throughout her life. She graduated from Waynesville High School and attended Sweet Briar College where she was elected president of her class.
In 1958, she made her debut at the Rhododendron Ball in Asheville and the N.C. Debutante Ball in Raleigh. After two years at Sweet Briar, she transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was elected president of Chi Omega. She graduated in 1961 with a degree in history.
After graduation, Dody and her college suitemate moved to Washington, D.C. where Dody was introduced to another young Tar Heel, George Robinson Ragsdale. After a whirlwind romance, George proposed to her on a moonlit night in New York City. They were married on a brilliant October morning in Asheville on Oct. 20, 1962. Their 58-year union was one of deep abiding love and devotion. They had an enchanted marriage.
The last several years of her life have not been easy for Dody, but she faced these health challenges the same way she approached every aspect of her life — driven by faith, always with an amazingly positive attitude and more concerned with others than herself.
Even in the midst of all her challenges, Dody recently told her dear friend that “life was so beautiful.” She lived a wonderful and rich life — one we would all do well to emulate.
A natural leader, Dody was president of the Junior League of Raleigh. She was Girls Committee Chairman of the N.C. Debutante Ball and later Honorary Chairman.
She served on the board of the North Carolina Symphony, was a member of the Raleigh Fine Arts and a Founding Board member of the American Dance Festival.
Dody was a member of the Rex Hospital Guild and served as a Stephen Minister. She especially loved the Capital City Garden Club and served as its president.
Dody’s deep Christian faith and personal relationship with the Lord guided her to a lifetime of learning and teaching. She was an early member and leader of Bible Study Fellowship and later a member of Lambs and Salt Shakers bible studies. She taught the Saint Mary’s chapter at Christ Church for 12 years. She was a Bible Study lecturer at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
Dody served on the board of AnGeL Ministries, the international ministry of her friend Anne Graham Lotz. Dody was part of a small group of dedicated individuals who were instrumental in the formation and founding of Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
Dody was incontestably the moral and spiritual center of her family. She had a deeply personal relationship with the Lord and taught her family these important lessons.
She was preceded in death by her son, John Robinson Ragsdale (Monica). She is survived by her adoring husband George, son George Young Ragsdale II, daughter Adora Ragsdale Koonce (Burke), and three grandchildren, Marvin Burke Koonce IV, Adora Prevost Koonce and Margaret Coate Ragsdale.
She is also survived by her brother, Jack G. Prevost (Sydney), her sisters Nancy Fichthorn (Luke) and Josephine Browning (Jim) and many devoted cousins, nieces and nephews.