Friends React to Death of Russ Ragan

By: Alex Zequeira Email
By: Alex Zequeira Email

Through his work both in broadcasting and the farming industry, Russ Ragan became a popular man here in the wiregrass, who made many friends. And even though the thought of having to say goodbye is tough to deal with, his friends are choosing to remember Ragan for the happiness and joy he brought to their lives.

At 5 PM Thursday, radio hosts with Magic Broadcasting in Dothan began dedicating all of their on-air shows and commentary to a man they all knew very well; Russ Ragan.

"I've known Russ since grade school and consequently we went to high school together and spent a lot of time at radio stations together," said David Gilligan, the production director for Magic Broadcasting.

Like many people across the Wiregrass when Gilligan learned that his co-worker and dear friend Russ died in plane crash, he was shocked. But reality eventually sunk in for Gilligan, who worked with Ragan on the radio, when he did is early morning agricultural reports.

"Farmers around the community would tune in specifically to listen to Russ Ragan. And he would let them know the forecast, and the price of cattle and the price of vegetables or whatever was on the market at the time," said Gilligan.

Ragan's career in broadcasting began where his father's left off. Decades ago, Gene Ragan reported on agricultural issues for WTVY News 4, and garnered a rather large viewing audience as farmers came to trust his knowledge of the industry. That love for agriculture was passed down to Russ, who also demanded the respect of the Wiregrass farming community.

"Getting the news out on how crops were and conditions... and what we were seeing out in the fields. It was very beneficial information to growers and other people in the industry," said Kris Balkcom, a friend of Ragan's.

Another friend of Ragan’s, Larry Wells said, "It's a hard loss for all of us personally and a hard loss for the farming community."

The death of Ragan, while mysterious, will continue to affect many people in the Wiregrass for some time to come. But despite the loss, those closest to him will always remember Ragan as a fun loving man, who loved life, loved God, and loved his community.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Brent Bryan Location: Dothan on Jul 30, 2007 at 12:24 PM
    Russell and I grew up as VERY close friends. We had a great childhood growing up as youth at First Baptist. I spent many fun days and nights at his home. We went full force into the CB radio craze back when we were 14. We set up pretend radio stations at both our houses. Russ was WHIT-AM, and I was WHIT-FM. He was the ultimate Bama fan. I tremendously regret not keeping up the friendship. Our lives just didn't cross very often, but I still loved him. I am happy he found his peace with Jesus and that his faith was strong. I will miss his unique "radio voice" bellowing out a very hearty Roll Tide!
  • by Winona Location: Blakely on Jul 27, 2007 at 11:29 PM
    My prayers are with the Regan & Watson families.Only God can heal your hearts,just trust in him.I've listened to Gene & Russ for years & always enjoyed their shows.I also went to school with Marilyn in Blakely.May God bless you all.
  • by god bless Location: dothan on Jul 27, 2007 at 08:40 AM
    my prayers are with the family.
  • by Tim Brandon Location: Dothan on Jul 27, 2007 at 08:29 AM
    Russ is a terrific person and a close friend. He loved God and was saved. I dont know how the days will pass without talking with Russ, eating out with him or just hanging out together with friends. He had great humor and loved everyone. I only hope I can live and love life as much as Russ did. I miss you "Russ Man", Timbo.
  • by paula Stokes Kelley Location: Wicksburg, AL on Jul 27, 2007 at 07:46 AM
    I loved Russ and his "radio voice" the day that i met him in our College years. He loved mornings, as he grew up in a wonderful close family that started their day at an early hour. (he fell asleep in the 7:00 movies at the theatre!) Russ loved his family and was proud to take you home to eat at Mama's table. Then walk the grounds down toward the pond with his father and talk about farmning and horticulture and weather and farm commoties. He had a deep contagious laugh and loved life. He was beyond predictable and dependable and I am never on time so we were always at odds about that. I saw him at the NPF grounds on the 4th of July and he gave me the Russ hug and lied and said that i look great, as he always did. He was the kind of person that made you so comfortable in his presence. He loved his Church family and our Lord. I bet he and God are talking about annual rainfall in inches so far this year today. I am Blessed to have known you Russ. My prayers are with your folks.
  • by Kecia Location: Dothan on Jul 27, 2007 at 06:26 AM
    I worked with Russ several years back. He was an amazing person with such a gentle heart. He was always smiling. He had a voice that anyone would recognize. I haven't talked to Russ in a few years but as soon as I heard about his death, my heart sank to the floor. For such a kind, gentle soul to be taken from us so soon is unjust. He will not be forgotten. He is looking down on us from heaven today and smiling. He is in a wonderful place, that is the only peace we can have. We love you Russ.
  • by Nancy Walker Location: dothan on Jul 27, 2007 at 03:54 AM
    Ruus was GREAT! we just taped last week another 10 spots on gardening and landscaping. we alwasy talked about hid flying. He was grweat to work with, we laughed when one of us would mess up. I will miss him. I love his mom and dad, known them for a very long time, my heart is broken for them. nancy walker
  • by Wesley Baxley Location: DENVER CO on Jul 26, 2007 at 09:09 PM
  • by Delores Location: Graceville FL on Jul 26, 2007 at 09:05 PM
    My phone was ringing off the hook after the news tonight, wanting how to let you know to be sure John Alan Watson is remembered as well, the innocent 7 year old. Don't forget about him...he was only mentioned once and as many people loved him as well...there are two families with heartache...please remember and honor them both.
WTVY-TV 285 N Foster Street Dothan, AL 36303 334-792-3195
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 8752532 -
Gray Television, Inc.