Sunset Surf

Edward Floyd Ragsdale

March 24, 1939 ~ March 10, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old


In Loving Memory of Dr. Edward F. Ragsdale
It is with great sadness that the family announces the peaceful passing of Dr. Edward Floyd Ragsdale, after losing his very short but courageous battle with cancer on March 10, 2024, with his three children by his side.

Edward was well known in the community of Alton, Illinois, where he lived and worked for more than 50 years. He was a doctor, a farmer, a politician and a friend to so many. He was famous for his booming laugh and loved a great joke.

Ed, as he was affectionately known by his family and friends, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas to Elizabeth (Murphy) and Floyd Ragsdale on March 24, 1939. A highly motivated and gifted student with dreams of becoming a doctor, he graduated #1 in his class from Russellville High School, then went on graduate #1 in his class from the University of Arkansas with dual majors in psychology and chemistry. He went on to attend Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, interned at Philadelphia General Hospital and did his residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis in Radiology.

In 1968, he married Meredith (Smith) of Kirkwood, Missouri, a talented pianist, and joined the Air Force, where he served as captain in active duty until 1970 at Scott Air Force Base. Ed lived his entire life as a proud veteran and patriot, and could often be seen through the years wearing his favorite “Vietnam Veteran” and “Air Force” baseball caps.

Ed and Meredith moved to Alton in 1970, where Ed joined the medical staff of Alton Memorial Hospital. One of the longest serving doctors to ever work at the hospital, Ed became the chairman of the Department of Radiology. He was medical director of Twin Rivers MRI Center, and integral in bringing in the first MRI machines to the community. He was active in the Madison County and Illinois State Medical Societies and was a frequent speaker and advocate on various issues including tort reform, with numerous debates on radio and TV. In 2017, Ed was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Alton Memorial Hospital.

Ed also worked hard in building the Madison County Republican Party, where he was chairman from 1976-1994. He then served as Alton-Godfrey-Foster Republican chairman from 1995-2016. He may have had the most fun though when he was elected as a Ronald Reagan delegate to the Republican National Convention in both 1980 and 1984 - memories he treasured for a lifetime.

As much as Ed loved medicine and politics, his true passion might have been his 160-acre cattle farm, Ragsdale Farm, with its beautiful grass-fed livestock, rolling hills and fresh air. Ed loved fishing, duck hunting, traveling, camping and nature, and had especially fond memories of scouting - he was a proud Eagle Scout.

Ed is now joyfully reunited in heaven with his parents, Floyd and Elizabeth Ragsdale. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Meredith. He is also survived by his three children: Lynda Davey, Alan Ragsdale and Phillip Ragsdale, his son-in-law Tim Davey and daughter-in-law Samantha Ragsdale; his four grandchildren: Sam Davey, Sara Davey, Ava Ragsdale and Tucker Ragsdale; his sister Ellen Ann Hopkins; and his 3 nephews: Jonathan, Beau and Cabell Hopkins.

Ed lived a high-impact life - he was passionate about causes he believed in and never failed to offer his help when needed. He lived a life of continuous learning and always worked to make the world a better place. His memorial will proudly say, “He fought for freedom.” Ed will be dearly missed by his family, lifelong and recent friends, members of his church, and the community he loved.

Visitation: Saturday, April 6th at 11am
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
519 E 4th St, Alton, IL 62002

Funeral Mass:
Saturday, April 6th at 11am
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
519 E 4th St, Alton, IL 62002

Celebration of Life:
Saturday, April 6th from 12:30 - 3:30pm
Lovejoy Wedding and Banquet Center
401 Piasa Street, Alton, IL 62002

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society in Ed’s name. Let’s find a cure.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Edward Floyd Ragsdale, please visit our Tree Store.


March 17, 2024

2:00 PM
Oasis Living Quarters (Senior Living Facility)
2855 W. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309


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