Delvis “Debbie” Brackene Gilliland Ragan, 86, died on January 28, 2021 in American Fork, UT. She was born on December 8, 1934 in Abernathy, Texas to Arthur Gilliland and Lorene Evaline Hardman. When Debbie was just beginning grade school the family moved to Oregon, where she made her home until she married James (Jim) Ernest Ragan, who was stationed in San Diego as a member of the United States Navy. The marriage was on, December 13, 1952, just days after Debbie’s 18th birthday. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just days before Jim’s’ passing on December 31, 2002.
As a military wife Debbie traveled to many places including Hawaii, Japan, California and Tennessee. Wherever she went she embraced the cultural and served her community. She was Involved as a reporter in Hawaii, In Japan she was active with the Red Cross during the Vietnam Conflict, she helped start a major recycling program in California in the early 70’s. Debbie particularly loved Japan where she fell in love with Japanese flower arranging. She attended 3 schools to Teacher status and continued her training and arranging when they left military life and returned to California and then to Utah in 1978. She was a teacher and judge in several different schools of flower arranging and she passed her training and love of arraigning onto her children. Her husband, Jim was always by her side, carrying vases and helping set up. While living in American Fork she was a member of the Beautification committee for several years. She also sold real estate with several different firms until she found a home at Mountainland ERA where she enjoyed working with the owners and workers who became cherished friends. She ended her career to care for her husband and then went on to enjoy having her son John and her grandson Ransom live with her for a time and then to have her other son, James, live with her and care for her as she aged. Her 80th birthday was spent at the American Fork Hospital where she was working as a “pink” lady. A description of Debbie would not be complete without mentioning her love of animals. She always had a cat or two and very often a dog also. She loved her pets and missed them when they passed. Her last cat and very loved Baxter survive her.
She is survived by her children: Sherry (Deborah) Ragan, James E. Ragan II and John (Kristy) Ragan, and 1 grandson, Ransom James Ragan and one very old cat, Baxter.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim, her parents Arthur R. Gilliland and Lourene Evaline Hardman Gilliland, and her siblings Etajoe “Joe” Gilliland Leppert, John Bennett Gilliland and Francis “Frankie” Louise Gilliland Zeigler.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 11 am at Anderson and Sons Mortuary, 49 East 100 North, American Fork. A viewing will be held prior from 9:45 to 10:45 am at the mortuary. Interment at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Due to COVID restrictions please see the link below to schedule a time to attend the viewing. Please share a memory of Debbie on her tribute wall.
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