Thomas Edward Ragsdale

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Thomas Edward Ragsdale

Thomas Edward Ragsdale, a lifelong beacon of light in San Saba, joined his Lord and Savior on March 3, 2020 at the age of 83. He deeply loved his family, friends, and everyone he met. Edward’s kindness, generosity, and dedication to the Lord drove every decision he made throughout his life.

On March 3, 1937, Eddie and Bertha Ragsdale welcomed Thomas Edward into their lives. Although Edward lived his whole life in San Saba, he was born in Brady, Texas, in the only hospital available for miles. Five years later, Edward’s baby sister, Bernita, joined their family.

At the ripe old age of 9, Edward began working at Jeff Byrd Grocery with his father, Eddie, who was the butcher. Edward was a shelf stocker, floor sweeper, and all around gopher. By the time all was said and done, he worked every job, learning what it took to run a store from the ground up; thus, beginning his lifelong journey in the grocery business.

He graduated from San Saba High School in 1955 and enlisted in the National Guard. The only times Edward left his beloved San Saba and the grocery store were during his seven years of service in the reserves. This was around the time he met a young singer named Elvis Presley; however, Elvis did not impress him as much as the newest San Saba resident did in 1969. Elvis had nothing on Linda in Edward’s eyes.

On January 16, 1970, Edward married the love of his life, Linda McKinney, in his parent’s home. The 70’s for Edward brought many wonderful things: marriage, the birth of his two daughters - Christine and Sara, and the beginning of G & R Grocery.

He and Linda continued their journey together, celebrating 50 years of marriage in January of this year. Edward worked for Jeff Byrd until he and Pudge Gage bought the store from him in 1973 and G & R Grocery was born. Pudge and Edward made a great team. Their partnership continued until Pudge’s untimely passing in 1990.

Edward loved being at the grocery store and dearly loved the people who worked there. He considered them his second family. His life was driven by his faith, taking care of his family, serving his community, farming and football. The grocery store was the vehicle he used to serve people. He loved the customers who came in and out of the doors, listening to their stories, watching their children grow and generously providing what was needed throughout San Saba.

Edward created “free delivery” before it was popular. It was a daily ritual of gathering groceries for people who were unable to shop for themselves and happily taking bags of food to their homes. It was his way of checking on them and providing a much-needed service.

He was always thrilled to be a part of the fundraisers held in San Saba County. With a few questions, he was quick to figure out how much food and supplies the organizations needed; yet, another way he kept his finger on the pulse of the community.

Edward became a grandfather for the first time in 1997 with the birth of Lance Thomas, followed by Linzie Grace in 2003, and Casey Jack in 2006. They loved their Grandpa and enjoyed working and hanging out at the store with him.

Edward continued working until age 80, devoting 71 years of his life to the grocery store. Edward’s faith and commitment to serve naturally drew him to leadership roles in the church. He became a deacon at the 2nd & Wallace Church of Christ as a young man and remained in this position for many years. A servant at his core, he flourished in the deaconship. His commitment eventually led him to serving as an elder until stepping down at the age of 78 in 2015. Thomas Edward Ragsdale is now where he worked his whole life to be – with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Those left behind to cherish Edward’s memory are his wife, Linda, of 50 years; two daughters: Christine Ragsdale and spouse, Michelle Chavez; Sara Miller and husband, Dustin; three grandchildren; Lance Glover, Linzie Ragsdale - Glover and Casey Jack Miller; one sister, Bernita Ragsdale Conner and husband, Dean; two nephews: Clifton Connor and wife, Debbie, and Chris Connor and wife, Mandy; three great-nieces: Edie Connor, Josie Connor and Karen Connor Roberts; “little sister” Jana Gatliff Osbourn; along with loving cousins and dear friends, who we consider family.

Edward was preceded in death by his parents.

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