CANTON – Avis R. (Todd) Ragan, 94, passed away peacefully in the company of family on Monday, May 22, 2023, at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where she had been a patient for a short time.
Avis was born March 28, 1929, in Pierrepont, the daughter of the late Austin and Flossie Mae (Robinson) Todd.
She attended Howard School District 6 in Pierrepont and graduated from Canton High School in 1946.
Avis went on to St. Lawrence University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1950; she obtained her Master’s in Teaching from Potsdam State College and went to college in Rochester and Syracuse University, where she obtained her Special Education Degree.
On February 28, 1951, Avis was united by marriage to Bernard Ragan at St. Mary’s Rectory in Canton, with Father Whittaker, Officiating.
Bernard predeceased her in 1972.
Avis began her teaching career teaching grades one through four Colton-Pierrepont from 1960-1962; she then taught fifth grade at Hermon-DeKalb in Hermon until 1964.
Avis began working for Canton Central for several years as an intermediate special education teacher. She spent time working in the Canton district both for the district and for BOCES in Special Education.
She was a BOCES employee working in the Heuvelton District when she retired in 1988.
Avis was noted in the Outstanding Teachers in Exceptional Education in 1975, which was published by the Academic Therapy Publisher and was listed in the Marquis Who’s Who Biographical Record of Child Development Professionals.
Avis was a very smart lady who was dedicated to her work.
She was active with the New York State Retired Teachers Association as a Friendly Service Coordinator delivering cards and gifts to retired teachers in the area; she was a Charter Member in 1967 of the NYS Association of Teachers of the Mentally Handicapped and supported the ARC and any organization that worked with special education children and adults.
As a child, she was a Member of 4H and was a 4H Leader with her children, where she taught cooking skills.
She was an excellent cook, enjoyed bowling, and was an avid quilter. Avis was the family's “Birthday Guru” as she had a complete record of all the family birthdays and cards prepared to send out at just the right time as to arrive on the day.
She was also a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Canton.
Avis is survived by a daughter, Marcia (Van) Thompson-Amyot; a son, David (Patricia) Ragan; grandchildren, Dan (Jennifer) Ragan, Mike Ragan, Don B (Amanda) Thompson, and Sarah St. Pier; great-grandchildren, Addison Ragan, Kaia Jordan, Penelope Thompson, and Margaret Avis Thompson; and by a brother, Richard Todd.
In addition to her husband, Bernard and parents, Austin and Flossie, she was predeceased by a grandson, John, in infancy, and six siblings, Francis Todd, Thelma McCollum, Eleanor Rood, James Todd, Albert Todd, and Lawrence Todd.
Calling hours for Avis will be held on Friday, May 26, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the O’Leary Funeral Home, Canton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at 9:00 am at St. Mary’s Church, Canton, with the Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia, Bishop of Syracuse, celebrating.
Burial will follow in the Parish Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements for Avis R. (Todd) Ragan are under the care of the O’Leary Funeral Service of Canton.