The Reverend Ragland Nathaniel Fletcher, 100, of Newland, NC, died February 21, 2018 in Raleigh, NC.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Nathaniel Fletcher and Anna Meade Ragland Fletcher and his brothers James Paul Fletcher and Jacob Herman Fletcher. Ragland is survived by his wife of 74 years, Sallie Fleming Teague Fletcher, of Newland, NC; son Dr. Gary Yates Fletcher and wife Gwen, of Cary, NC; daughter Anna Julian Fletcher Leith and husband Tom of Cynthiana, KY; daughter Sallie Beth Fletcher Dabagian and husband Marc of Raleigh, NC; granddaughters Preston Troy Fletcher Deans and husband Brandon of Denver, CO; Kendall Lorraine Fletcher of Sydney, Australia; Julianna Christine Margaret Leith of Florence, KY; Delaney Grace Dabagian and Harper Claire Dabagian, both of Raleigh, NC; grandsons Thomas Edward Leith, Jr. of Sydney, Australia; Eric William Fletcher of Raleigh, NC; and great grandsons Fletcher Nathaniel Deans and Deacon Christopher Deans of Denver, CO. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ragland graduated from Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, NC; King College, Bristol, TN; and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA. He proudly served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II.
During his ministerial career, Ragland served as Lay Assistant at First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN; Pastor at Keystone and Asbury Chapels under the auspices of the First Presbyterian Church, Johnson City, TN; LaCrosse Memorial Presbyterian Church, Phoebus, VA; Cann Memorial Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth City, NC. Supply Pastor at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, Banner Elk, NC, and Pineola Presbyterian Church, Pineola, NC. Parish Associate at Fletcher Presbyterian Church, Newland, NC. Ragland also preached for 23 years for informal Sunday worship services held at Tropic Isle Travel Resort, Bokeelia, FL, where he and Sallie wintered for 31 years.
In 1939, Newland Presbyterian Church started an outpost Sunday School in the Cow Camp Community of Avery County. Ragland, at age 22, was appointed as trustee of the proposed church. He faithfully taught Sunday School in homes and under trees until volunteering for service in WWII. After a facility was built in 1945, the church became known as Fletcher Chapel in Ragland’s honor. In 1994, the Western North Carolina Presbytery and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church US commissioned Fletcher Chapel a church, and its name was officially changed to Fletcher Presbyterian Church. Ragland and Sallie attended the General Assembly meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio where Ragland personally received the Certificate of Celebration and Commemoration of the church’s organizing. Additionally, Ragland served as Boy Scout Master in Newland for many years and became a Scout Executive based in Asheville, NC. Several of his scouts became prominent members of the community.
Having a degree in Physical Education served Ragland well over the years. An avid golfer all his life, in his 70s and 80s, he participated in a weekly event at Mountain Glen Golf Course in Newland called “The Over-the-Hill Gang” for senior golfers. In his lifetime, Ragland made 7 holes in one and two double eagles! He often said the goal was to shoot your age, which he did on numerous occasions. He also enjoyed skiing, sailing, camping, fishing and boating.
The family will receive friends and relatives on Sunday, February 25, 2018 from 4:00-5:00PM at Newland Presbyterian Church, 199 Elk Street, Newland, NC 28657. The funeral service celebrating the life of Ragland N. Fletcher will then be held at 5:00PM, following the visitation. The Reverend Roger Wise, The Reverend Michael McKee, and The Reverend Ms. Deborah Moore Clark will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fletcher Presbyterian Church, PO Box 493, Newland, NC 28657.
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The care of Rev. Fletcher and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.

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