Ragan was born Feb. 18, 1975, in Shreveport,6 La. She grew up in Cape Girardeau, where she graduated from Central High School. In 1997 she earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She earned a master's degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1999. In 2005 Ragan earned a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Ragan met Kerry Neilson while working on her doctoral degree. They fell in love and were married Jan. 10, 2004, at Beaver Creek, Colo. Ragan worked as a human resource specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Ragan and Kerry became the proud parents of Liliana Rae Sept. 12, 2006, two months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ragan is survived by her husband, Kerry; a daughter, Liliana Rae; her parents, Barbara and Robert Ward of Cape Girardeau; a sister, Michelle (Bill) Alvey of St. Louis and niece, Piper; a sister, Carlye (Phil) Wannenmacher of Springfield, Mo., and nephews, Trey and Jake; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jim and Carol Neilson of St. Joseph, Ill.; and a brother-in-law, Kevin Neilson of Boulder, Colo.
The family will receive friends today from 5 to 6 p.m. at Horan & McConaty Funeral Home, 3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, Colo., 80227, 303-986-9615, with a celebration of Ragan's life immediately following.
The family will again receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Cape Bible Chapel, 2911 Kage Road, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701, 573-334-5948. A celebration of Ragan's life will follow immediately at 3, with Dan Greene officiating.
Ford and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.