- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2006

Durward Ragan, 81, retired federal official

Durward Duane Ragan, a retired Air Force colonel and federal official, died March 24 at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Md., after a fall at his home. He was 81.

Born in Portland, Ore., Col. Ragan joined the Navy Dec. 18, 1941 — 11 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After World War II, Col. Ragan joined the Air Force Reserve and taught eighth grade in Portland’s public school system. He also worked as an education instructor at Walla Walla College in Washington state and as the director of research for mental health in the Oregon governor’s office.

In 1967, he moved to the D.C. area to work at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), then part of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Col. Ragan left NIMH in 1971 to work as a branch chief in the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, where he was instrumental in drafting and advocating for legislation to institute the nationwide child car seat safety laws.

He also helped develop Childhelp USA, an organization that provides services and advocacy for child abuse victims, and worked as a hospital administrator at Andrews Air Force Base in the early 1970s.

In 1976, Col. Ragan resumed active duty and became head of the Office of the Surgeon Air Reserve Personnel Center for the U.S. Air Force. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his duties there.

Col. Ragan also served as president of the national board of Parents Anonymous and received the organization’s VIP award in 1985.

In 1987, he joined the Office of Justice Programs and the Office for Victims of Crime in the Department of Justice. He served as acting director of the Missing and Exploited Children’s program for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in 1990 and enthusiastically took on numerous other challenges and assignments.

Col. Ragan also was a grant monitor on many projects, including domestic violence training programs for police departments across the country and the development of a hate-and-bias crime manual used in many jurisdictions.

After retiring in 2002, Col. Ragan became a private consultant and a member of the Calvert County Board of Elections and the Calvert County Committee on Aging.

He enjoyed woodworking, gardening, canning and traveling.

Col. Ragan’s survivors include his wife of 39 years, Margaret A. Ragan of Sunderland, Md.; three daughters, Barbara Ragan Korri of Spokane, Wash., Diane M. Sparrow of Lothian, Md., and Dena Ragan Radosevic of Sunderland; a son, Stephen D. Baker of Portland; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A previous marriage to Jean Ragan ended in divorce.

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