Obituaries » Martha Ragland
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May 30, 1938 - December 20, 2019
Service Date December 28, 2019
A celebration of Martha’s life will be held on Saturday, December 28th at First United Methodist Church, 804 Montvale Station Rd., Maryville. Receiving of friends and family from 12-2 and memorial service at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to make donations to Celebrate Recovery, c/o First UMC of Maryville, a ministry she faithfully supported, Blount Memorial Hospital Foundation, 907 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, TN 37804, designated for Hospice who provided compassionate and loving care in the last few weeks of Martha’s life, or the charity of your choice.
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Martha Jenkins Ragland, 81 years old, died December 20th, 2019 after a brief struggle with cancer. Martha was the child of Gordon and Lucille Jenkins of Red Boiling Springs, TN who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her grandson, Seth Gordon Christy and her husband, Fowler Owen Ragland. She was 18 when she married Fowler and theirs was a love story without end. They enjoyed over 20 years in the Air Force and made lifelong friends at every base where they were stationed. Martha and Fowler retired to Unicoi, TN and upon his death she made her home in Maryville, TN. Martha had many gifts, but the ones most often mentioned are her gifts for teaching and hospitality, both of which she used in the service of the Lord. She was active in the Gideons Auxiliary for over thirty years, taught the “Golden Girls” Sunday School class at Centenary UMC in Erwin, TN for too long to remember, and upon moving to Maryville and joining First UMC of Maryville taught many Bible studies. If you asked anyone what one thing they associated with her they would probably say “her homemade bread”. Everyone loved her bread and she shared it freely along with a welcoming smile and an open door. She always sent home loaves of bread with her grandchildren, which was quite a feat as there were 13 of them. She even shared with those she didn’t know through the Welcome Table and other outreach opportunities. Martha had a great love for her large and extended family including her four children and their spouses, Barbara and Rick Christy of Snow Camp, NC, Owen and Leslie Ragland of Maryville, TN, David and Debbie Ragland of Knoxville, and Nancy and Dave O’Brien of Springdale, AR. She is survived by 12 grandchildren, their spouses and 11 great-grandchildren. She included in that family her children’s friends who were always welcome in her home, her neighbors in Williams Way Subdivision, her book club and her church family, especially her “small group”. Her wisdom, humor, and warm heart will be missed by the many that loved her. Proverbs 31:20-31.