RAGAN, Harold Stanley
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December 10, 1927 – March 25, 2013
With great sadness we announce the passing of Stan Ragan on March 25, 2013 in Calgary, at the age of 85 years. Stan is predeceased by his parents, Gertrude and Paul, his brother, Harry, and his eldest son, John. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife Nancy (nee Southgate), five remaining sons, David (Moira), Doug (Pat), Ken (Dominique), Tim (Colleen), and Chris (Ingrid), daughter-in-law Debra, and fourteen beloved grandchildren: Jillian, Michael, James, Cassie, Riley, Carly, Lindsay, Arianne, Sophie, Tobias, Brantford, Brooklyn, Katie, and Hugh. He is also survived by his sister, Paula, sister-in-law, Joan, and several nieces and nephews. He was a caring and thoughtful husband, a tremendous role model as a father, and a captivating storyteller for his grandchildren.
Stan was born in Calgary on December 10, 1927 but grew up and went to school in Edmonton. He received a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta in 1950 and in that same year married Nancy. Together, they raised and loved six sons, proudly watched the blossoming of fourteen grandchildren, and last year celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
Stan joined the Alberta Bridge Branch in 1950 as an engineer and worked on many projects during years of rapid development in Alberta. One of his favourite structures from this era, still in use today, is the arch bridge at Lundbreck Falls, near Pincher Creek. In the early 1960s, he teamed up with Ian McBride to create McBride-Ragan Consulting Engineers, a small and successful company that designed many structures across Alberta, including the Quesnell and Whitemud bridges, the Oxford Tower, the Edmonton Art Gallery, and several buildings on the University of Alberta campus, including the bright yellow "butter dome". In the mid 1970s, he created a separate company, Ragan-Bell-McManus, to design Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium. As an engineer and as a man, Stan was highly principled, uncommonly skilled, and unfailingly polite; he personified the quiet professionalism signified by the engineers' steel ring.
Stan was passionate about reading and well- informed debate. He was nearly always in the middle of a few books, ranging from spy novels to military and world history, and much in between. Stan and Nancy enjoyed a busy and fulfilling life, with lots of motorhome camping, hiking, fishing, and traveling to exotic countries. His reading and travels generated countless dinner-time conversations with family and friends; the resulting love of travel and debate survives (often exhaustingly!) among their children and grandchildren.
Stan was also committed to building a better community, and he was a devoted volunteer for the Rotary Club and the Fort Edmonton Historical Foundation. But his first commitment was always to his wife and family. He will be best remembered as a most considerate and gentle patriarch of a loving and admiring clan.
A celebration of Stan's life will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Parkland Community Center (Park 96), 14660 Parkland Boulevard S.E., Calgary. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the H.S. Ragan Prize in Structural Engineering at the University of Alberta. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all the health-care providers who assisted Stan during the past many months.
In living memory of Harold Ragan, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Edmonton Journal from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2013