Mary Margaret (Ragsdale) Ellis, 80, passed from this life on September 15, 2021. She was born on April 20, 1941 in Muskogee, OK to Remus & Lillian (Dixson) Ragsdale.
Mary was driven by a passion for justice and a love of animals, beauty and the arts. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend and was loved and respected by so many. As a devoted Christian she found a strong and supportive faith community at St. James Episcopal Church in Antlers. She was a proud Oklahoman and a member of the Cherokee & Muscogee Creek Nations.
In 1959, Mary graduated from Central High School, where was a prize winning member of the debate team. She started college at Northeastern State University in Talequah, OK where she was the president of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She ultimately received her BS in Speech Pathology at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where she began her career in public service. Her work securing housing for Native American tribes took her across the US and Canada. Mary was honored for her professional leadership by the Panel of American Women in Kansas City for her role as the Executive Director of Women's Employment Network, a non-profit job skills & success program for women.
In 1988, Mary moved to Antlers, OK to marry her beloved high school sweetheart Dr. Edwin Ellis. In her 50s she bravely began a new career, receiving her RN degree at Paris Junior College in 1992. For 20 years Pushmataha County Hospital was her professional home. She truly loved her co-workers and considered it an honor to care for her patients and the community. Ed and Mary had a wonderful marriage; their shared passion for travel and the arts took them to four continents and countless plays, concerts and museums around the world. Her friends in Antlers brought her much comfort and joy; she was a proud member of the ESA sorority, 20th Century Club, and was a founding member of the Precious Jewels book club. She loved hosting friends and family and let no holiday go undecorated..
She is preceded in death by parents Remus & Lillian Ragsdale, sister Tommie Sue Leahy, and many other devoted family members and friends.
She is dearly missed by children Blayne LaCroix & Elizabeth McGehee, stepchildren Jennifer Ellis & Hayden Parr, grandchildren Tyler LaCroix, Kyle La Croix, Jaqueline Flanery, Clare Parmer, Riley Parr, Keaton Parr, & Julia Parr, and great grandchildren Noah Cudaback and Mystin Flanery.
Pallbearers include: Kenneth Autry, Jim Branam, Mike Brittingham, Bill Hill, Tom Jackson, & Paul Thomas. Assistant pallbearers include: James Gardener, Randy Lowe, Terry Mills, RC Pruett, Shane Trent & Tanner Trent.
Services for Mary will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 2PM at the St. James Episcopal Church in Antlers with Mark Gardner officiating. Interment to follow at Hall Cemetery.
Services have been entrusted with Serenity Funeral Service of Antlers.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Margaret (Ragsdale) Ellis, please visit our floral store.