Obituary - Thomas Arthur "Tom" Ragsdale

 

Last updated 4/29/2022 at 11:13am



Thomas Arthur “Tom” Ragsdale, 75, recently of Missoula, previously of Harlem, MT, passed away peacefully April 21, 2022.

Tom was born February 2, 1947, in Harlem, MT.

From an early age, Tom had an adventurous spirit, whether he was getting lost in a blizzard while returning from their outhouse, chasing down south side kids who were attempting to get to the swimming hole with his brothers on horseback, or having adventures with friends in the big red barn that he would one day come to own.

After completing high school in Chowchilla, CA, while living with his older brother Robert, he returned home to marry his sweetheart, Annette Mae Streber, June 27, 1970. During this time, he also spent time on the rodeo circuit, riding bareback horses and later calf roping in the PRCA in both California and later Montana.

Tom and Annette lived in California for a time. While there, Tom spent some time in college focusing on his passion of photography. They returned to Harlem to raise their family.

Tom was an avid hunter and trapper, having driven and walked many miles of 30 Mile Creek and the Milk River Valley. Tom also had many hunting trips to the Bob Marshall Wilderness with his family. He once had a harrowing month-long trip with his good friend Petey Siemens. Tom loved his yearly trips to the Missouri River Breaks for bow season to stalk elk and enjoyed time with his brother-in-law Don Ford and later his family. Tom was also a hopeful, if not entirely successful fisherman, who enjoyed floating the Milk and Missouri Rivers with friends and family while also doing a little fishing.


Tom had a lengthy career in construction, having worked on many homes and businesses in Harlem and the surrounding areas. Whether he was hauling grain bins from Hogeland to the land north of the landfill, swinging from a church steeple replacing shingles in Turner, rappelling up and down grain elevators in Zurich and Chinook, working on the school in Hays, re-roofing countless homes in Harlem or pouring the foundation and floor for the Goodyear dealership, Tom’s signature has been left all over Harlem.

Later in life, Tom found the passion to join the Harlem Volunteer Ambulance Crew and eventually rose to the rank of crew chief. He always spoke fondly of his time with the ambulance crew. From that point forward, he always ensured his kids had well stocked first aid kits in their vehicles.

Tom is preceded in death by his wife Annette, parents Reuel “Slim” and Freda Ragsdale, and his brother, John.

Tom is survived by his children, Adam (Theresa), KC (Justin), and Matt (Chelsea). Tom had six grandchildren who adored him.

While no service is currently scheduled based on his wishes, his children will reach out to friends and family when a celebration of life may be planned later down the road.

 

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