Sunday, July 21, 2024

Alicia Hayne Hazlehurst Ragsdale, 83

Alicia Hayne Hazlehurst Ragsdale (Andrews Mortuary and Crematory)

WILMINGTON — Alicia Hayne Hazlehurst Ragsdale died on March 23, 2024. After being diagnosed with ALS, Alicia lost her voice, but she never lost the sparkle in her eyes. A Celebration of Life will be held at noon on Monday, April 1, 2024, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort, NC.

Alicia was born in Jackson, TN on January 23, 1941. After the loss of her father at age 13, she was raised in part by her two brothers, whom she adored. As a young adult, she moved with her mother, Alicia Davidge Hazlehurst, to Charleston, SC. Alicia treasured her Hazlehurst and Hayne family connections to Charleston. She loved sharing stories of her debut at the St. Cecilia Ball in 1958, her sailing adventures with her Uncle Wee, and her marriage to Carl Sutton Ragsdale at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church on September 1, 1962.

Alicia graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, VA with a B.A. in Economics in June 1962. While attending summer school at UNC-CH, she met her future husband, Carl. As newlyweds they lived in Laurel, MD, where Alicia worked at National Savings and Trust. They then moved to Chapel Hill for Carl to finish his studies at UNC. After a brief stint in Richlands, NC, they settled in Jacksonville, NC, where they lived for 33 years while raising their three girls. Alicia spent hours volunteering, selling real estate and boating on the New River. Later in life, Alicia moved with Carl to Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA before returning home to the coast of North Carolina, living in Atlantic Beach, Beaufort and Wilmington.

Alicia believed in saying yes to opportunities to serve, learn and grow. In Jacksonville, she held numerous fundraising dinners to support NC Symphony performances for the fifth graders of Onslow County. She served on the sculptor selection committee for the Beirut Memorial and was instrumental in launching the Jacksonville Rails to Trails Greenway. Upon moving to Northern VA, Alicia volunteered at the National Cathedral, working with elementary school groups to explore art and the imagery of the stained-glass windows. She volunteered in the White House as an agency liaison and in student correspondence. She also joined the National Society of Colonial Dames.

Throughout life, Alicia made an incredible impact on those she met and the communities where she lived. She had deep connections with friends of all ages and of all walks of life. Alicia believed deeply in the baptismal covenant that we are to “respect the dignity of every human being.” She lived her belief “that the Christ in us is the only Christ some people will ever know.” Her friends adored her humor, her energy, her spunk and her compassion.

As a cradle Episcopalian, Alicia loved the Episcopal Church. She valued the symbolism, the tradition, the liturgy and the value placed on engaging your brain as you discern God’s call. Alicia’s stoic strength came from her deep-rooted faith and love of Christ. She treasured her trips to the Holy Land and to Turkey, retracing the steps of the apostle Paul. She gave generously of her time to church ministries. She served as Sr. Warden at St. Anne’s in Jacksonville, NC and St. Paul’s in Alexandria, VA. She served as a member of the Trinity Center Long Range planning committee, a Trustee at the University of the South, and a delegate to the National Convention of the Episcopal Church.

Alicia was a creative, forward thinker, who loved a challenge. She made curtains and wedding dresses. She arranged flowers and threw dinner parties in a blink of an eye. She towed boats, backed trailers and tied dock lines like a pro. She went overnight shrimping with friends in her 40s; waterskied at 75; and painted into her 80s, even with ALS. She loved being outside, especially working in her yard or being on or in the water. She laughed and loved until the end.

Together, Alicia and Carl built a foundation of love and support that has been a model for countless friends and family members. Alicia loved her sons-in-law like sons. She prioritized being part of her seven grandchildren’s lives and found great joy in spending time with each. Dubbed the “educational grandmother,” she taught us to love learning, to listen and to love one another.

Alicia is survived by her husband, Carl Sutton Ragsdale; children, Alicia & Mike Alford, Anne & Garth Ainslie, and Robin & Dodson Schenck; her grandchildren – Michael Sutton Alford and fiancé Kate Alden Rand, Alicia Hayne Alford, Camden Elaine Alford, Garth Quinn Ainslie, Jr., Hayne Ragsdale Ainslie, Eliza Groome Schenck and William Davidge Schenck; and her brother, Waring Mikell Hazlehurst, and his wife Dian. In addition, Alicia is survived by six godchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Edward Hazlehurst, her brother, Dr. George Edward Hazlehurst and her goddaughter, Anne Hazlehurst Garrard.

The family wishes to extend our deepest gratitude to Alicia’s amazing Hospice team – Cristina Nieves, Tonya Britt & Nicole Ransom; her caregiver Becky Love; the compassionate staff of Trinity Landing; and to Drs. Richard Bedlack and Karrie Grear and their neurology teams.

Alicia’s first response when diagnosed with ALS was a desire that her treatment help future generations. In keeping, she donated her brain and spinal tissue for neurological research.

A reception at the Beaufort Hotel will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Alicia’s memory to one of the following:

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
215 Ann St.
Beaufort, NC 28516

Trinity Center
PO Drawer 380
Salter Path, NC 28575

Alicia & Carl Ragsdale ‘58 Scholarship Fund
Episcopal High School
1200 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302

Project ALS
2585 Broadway, Suite 202
New York, NY 10025

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