Thomas Edwin Ragland, 78, of Nashville, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at Alive Hospice in Nashville.
He was born on May 27, 1941 in Lebanon, Tennessee. He spent his formative years in the Linwood Community east of Lebanon where he attended Tuckers Crossroads School from the first through eighth grades. He was a 1958 graduate of Lebanon High School.
While in high school he was active in the Beta Club, Science Club, English Club, Pep Club, and the Key Club. In addition, he involved himself with the local 4-H Club where he was a member of the 4-H Honors Club and the District II 4-H All-Stars, attending several 4-H state and national conventions.
In 1962, Mr. Ragland graduated from Tennessee Technological University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science. While attending Tennessee Tech, Tom took an active role in the Civil Engineering Club, Tennessee Society for Professional Engineers, Eta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society, and the Church of Christ Student Group. During the summers of 1960 and 1961, he worked part-time for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and in 1962, upon graduation from college, he was hired full time with the Tennessee Department of Transportation as a Civil Engineer planning roads and highways for the next 31 years.
He moved from Lebanon to Nashville in 1970 and has resided in the city since that time. In 1975, Mr. Ragland received his Master of Science degree at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was always proud of his Master's thesis: "A Methodology for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Highway Safety Program Standards."
Upon his retirement from the State Department of Transportation in June 1992, Tom worked for several tour companies, providing tours and convention services for visitors to the Nashville area through "Destination Nashville," as well as private tours under the tutelage of Mrs. Mary Williams. When he was not guiding tours and helping guests in Nashville, Mr. Ragland was on the road with Thomas Tours as a tour escort for student groups. These excursions would take him to New York City, Chicago, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Atlanta logging over 20,000 miles of travel in the 1990s.
Mr. Ragland grew up attending Bethlehem Church of Christ near Tuckers Crossroads where he was baptized as a young adult, and was a participating member of their youth group.
Mr. Ragland loved reading, travel, working crossword puzzles, and playing card games. He prided himself in being an expert in trivia, especially presidential and sports trivia. Mr. Ragland also immersed himself in genealogical research as his interest in his family roots was always keen. He was an avid University of Tennessee football fan where he held season tickets for 49 years, as well as an avid Vanderbilt University basketball fan where he held season tickets for approximately 30 years. In 1999, he became a charter PSL ticket holder to the Tennessee Titans. Most every Saturday and Sunday, one could find Tom glued to the television set watching college and pro sports.
He was preceded in death by his parents Neal Edwin Ragland and Monte Groom Ragland.
Survivors include several close friends, as well as several cousins.
The family would like to express thanks to the staff at Morningside at Belmont Assisted Living, the 12th Floor and ICU staff at Tri-Star Centennial Hospital, and Alive Hospice, all of Nashville. Special thanks to Gene Lovelace, Chaplain at Alive Hospice.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Partlow Funeral Chapel, 602 S. Cumberland Street, in Lebanon followed by the funeral service at 1 p.m. in the Partlow Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow in the Prosperity Cemetery where Mr. Ragland will be laid to rest next to his parents.
You may honor his memory by making a donation to your favorite charity, or doing something kind for someone in need.
Partlow Funeral Chapel is in care of arrangements. 615-444-7007, www.partlowchapel.com.