Thomas Edward “Butch” Ragland E/58th & K/75 LRRP passed away June 4, 2010


13 January 1946 – 4 June 2010

Butch was born in Paris, Texas to Charles Allen “Red” Ragland (1912-1964) and Ruby Irene West Ragland (1925-2010) on the 13th of January 1946.

Married Carolyn Bowen Vanhoose in 1966 in Pasquotank County, NC., Divorced 14 April 1980.

Married Wanda Sue Garbini Cohen Ragland (B1944) June 12, 1971 in Woodland, CA, a second marriage for both. Divorced April 1974

Married Holly Diane Jones Ragland on December 26, 1995 in Chesapeake, VA and was to remain married until his passing.

Butch enlisted January 23, 1963 and was honorably discharged 19 January 1966. Two years as a civilian was enough for this warrior, he, once again, enlisted on February 5, 1968 finding his way to the Central Highlands of Viet Nam to serve with E Co., 58th LRRP, 4th Infantry Division from March 1968 until November 8th 1968 when he was wounded in action. Butch was to spend the next year recuperating at Ft. Bragg, NC before returning in March of 1970, to Viet Nam with K. Co., 75th Rangers where he earned another Purple Heart. He remained there until the “break-up” and was re-assigned to HHC, 173rd Bde. as a commo PSgt. He was honorably discharged for the final time on October 27, 1971. Butch was awarded the Purple Heart twice, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and numerous other awards and decorations for his time spent in the service of his country.

He was an active member of the DAV and the Purple Heart Association. Thomas enjoyed his model railroading and family genealogy.

He was survived by his wife of 15 years, Holly; his daughter, Trina Nichols of Wilmington, N.C.; his son, Thomas E. Gillikin of Virginia Beach; his two sisters, Ruby Alline Gillikin and husband Ronney, and Peggy Cahoon and husband Joe, both of Chesapeake; and his brother, John Ragland and wife Melba of Chireno, Texas. Thomas was also survived by his two grandsons, Anthony and Adam Nichols; one great-grandson, Spencer Nichols as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

After a long illness, Butch passed away, at the age of 64, in his Chesapeake, VA. home, surrounded by his loving family and friends. He was laid to rest with full military honors in the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, 5310 Milners Road, Suffolk, Virginia.