Remembering Reba Ragsdale: A force in the fight against breast cancer dies at 81

Services are 2 p.m. Monday at A&M United Methodist Church.
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - A force in the fight against breast cancer and a longtime community leader died early Wednesday morning.

Reba Ragsdale, 81, lost her fight with cancer in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her accomplishments and contributions are many and include the Brazos Valley’s Pink Alliance.

In 2006, Ragsdale received a Jefferson Award. Just one of many recognitions she would go on to receive in her lifetime.

“While I don’t see myself as any kind of a hero I’m so grateful to be recognized for this distinguished award,” said Ragsdale during the Jefferson Awards ceremony. “As a child growing up in west Texas I remember watching my parents unite with others in the community to make sure everyone’s needs were met.”

Ragsdale would eventually move to the Brazos Valley and bring with her those values. She married Bob Ragsdale, had four children, several grandchildren, and would go on to be one of the most giving citizens of Aggieland.

In 2016 Reba was honored at the Community Foundation’s Tribute Luncheon. She had gifted her time and talents to many organizations over the years including the Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, the 12th Man Foundation, and many more.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen her frown. I think she always has a smile no matter what difficulties she’s addressing,” said John Anderson in a tribute video.

One of those challenges was fighting breast cancer which led Reba 14 years ago to help establish one of the most prominent non-profits here: Pink Alliance.

“She met with a couple of other ladies who were survivors and decided there was a need for a group like Pink Alliance,” said Pink Alliance President Doris Light.

“After overcoming the shock of knowing that she had cancer, Reba realized that there was a new beginning ahead for her, a new hope bringing a new perspective on life,” said friend and Pink Alliance member Patricia Gerling.

“Through God’s grace, Reba has dedicated her life to making a positive difference in other women’s lives as they experience their journey with breast cancer,” said Gerling.

The organization has brought awareness and support to so many affected by cancer - something Reba fought and won until it returned, but her fight will go on through Pink Alliance and all the other people, places, and organizations that she touched.

In her speech at the Jefferson Awards, she ended by saying, “I have learned many life lessons and received abundant blessings from those with whom I’ve been privileged to work. No doubt I have received more than I have ever given which reminds me of Jesus’s words it’s always more blessed to give than to receive.”

Services are 2 p.m. Monday at A&M United Methodist Church.

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