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Obituary for Margaret Lou Ragsdale

Margaret Lou Ragsdale of Benton, AR, went to be with our Lord on Thursday, August 17th, 2017. Margaret was born on August 3rd, 1942 in Detroit, MI, to the late Lawrence and Ardell Ragsdale.

At 3 months of age, her mother passed away. Her father, unable to leave his job in Detroit (during this time violent riots had moved into the city), realized that she was not safe. He asked for help from relatives to remove her from danger. Margaret was lovingly taken in and raised in Mountain Valley, AR, by her great Aunt and Uncle, Opal and Charlie Cockman. Margaret gained two older brothers, Rayburn and Charles Cockman. She attended school at Fountain Lake and excelled in her studies, graduating as the salutatorian of her senior class. During her senior year, she was introduced to her future husband, Elbert Ragsdale, of Jessieville, AR.

After graduation, she and Elbert were married at her home in Mountain Valley, and moved to Hot Springs, AR. They had two daughters, Tonia and Karen.

In her mid-twenties, Margaret was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which progressively worsened during her lifetime. She never let this crippling diagnosis stop her from fulfilling the goals she had set for her daughters. Amongst so many other things, she taught them to believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, when she could have just as easily blamed her afflictions on Him. Her life was full of teaching others the love of Christ, and she shared this love with young children, youth, and on mission trips. Many people remember her for the lessons in God’s love that she taught them which so enriched their lives.

The family moved to Benton, AR in 1976 and joined Calvary Baptist Church. Margaret’s faith was tested constantly, it seems, as she was stricken with many conditions throughout her life, the most recent being the cancer that has taken her from us. Margaret never let the pain she endured stop her from loving and nurturing the children and youth of her church. Being an accomplished pianist, she volunteered her talent for the church until her fingers could no longer strike the keys without horrendous pain. She was an active member for over 40 years until her physical state forced her to stay home, but even then, the church was always in her thoughts and prayers.

Margaret touched hundreds of peoples’ lives by sharing God’s love with them. She will always be remembered as the person who gave so much of herself, no matter the pain it put her through.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Ardell Ragsdale; her second parents Charlie and Opal Cockman; and her brother Charles Cockman. She is survived by her husband, Elbert Ragsdale, their two daughters Karen Ragsdale and Tonia Cox (Greg), granddaughter Sabrina Cox, brother Rayburn Cockman (all of Benton), and two sisters, Barbara Smith (Jack), Lorrie Morris, both of California, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation will be Monday, August 21st from 6 to 8 p.m. at Caruth Village Funeral Home (4623 N. Hwy 7, Hot Springs Village). A second visitation will be held at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22nd at Calvary Baptist Church (612 Valley View, Benton) followed by services at 1 p.m., with Dr. Clif Springer officiating. Interment will be at Green Cemetery on Beaudry Cir. in Jessieville at 3:15 p.m. Pallbearers are Chris Ragsdale, Layne Ragsdale, Leonard Lindley, Vernon Brooks, Tommy Collier, and Jim Martin. Honorary pallbearers are Rayburn Cockman, Doug Ragsdale, Edgar Ragsdale, and Greg Cox.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials/donations be made to her daughters’ nonprofit organization, ARRUFF Rescue (, or Calvary Baptist Church.

Margaret will always be lovingly remembered by her family and the many lives she touched.
Although her body was weak and frail, and she experienced near-constant pain, her spirit and faith remained strong. She was “one tough little lady” to the very end.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Margaret Lou Ragsdale, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Caruth Village Funeral Home

4623 North Highway 7
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909





12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Calvary Baptist Church

612 Valley View
Benton, AR 72019

Funeral Service




1:00 PM
Calvary Baptist Church

612 Valley View
Benton, AR 72019


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