Joe Ray Ragland Jr.

May 20, 1938 - January 17, 2024


Obituary For Joe Ray Ragland Jr.

Mr. Joe Ray Ragland, Jr, 85, of Raleigh, NC, passed away surrounded by family on January 17, 2024. He was born in Kernersville, NC on May 20, 1938, son of the late Joe Ray Ragland, Sr. and Bess Rothrock Ragland.

Joe graduated from Kernersville High School in 1956. He earned his BS in Mathematics from UNC-CH in 1960 and his MS in Computer Science from UNC-CH in 1971. He held multiple leadership positions throughout his career in Computer Science. Joe was employed at UNC Computation Center from 1961-1966. Following, he held the position of Manager of Information Services and Assistant Director for Data Communication, Triangle Universities Computation Center, Research Triangle Park, NC from 1966-1990.

Joe served as Manager of Internet Operations, Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, Research Triangle Park, NC from 1990-1995.

Joe was often referred to as the "Grandfather of the North Carolina Internet" as during his tenure he installed the first Internet circuit in NC, as a node on the Defense Department ARPnet. His career in Computer Science turned into life-long hobbies with computers as well as amateur radio. He was a former member of Chapel Hill Rotary Club and American Radio Relay League as well as various amateur radio organizations.

Joe married his high school sweetheart, Mary Anne Fearrington, on August 23, 1959. They remained in Chapel Hill until moving to Emerald Isle, NC in 2002. Upon the death of his wife in 2017, Joe and Mary Anne were married for 57 years.

He is survived by his children, Beth McCauley (John) and Kellie Ragland of Raleigh, NC; grandchildren Ashley Ennis (Parker) of Benson, NC and Connor McCauley (Tiffani) of Louisburg, NC; and two great-grandchildren, Melani and Karelia McCauley.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Salter Path, NC.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Joe Ragland to Transitions LifeCare Hospice, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607. Donation forms are available at their website: transitionslifecare.org.

Obituary also available on legacy.com.


3 Feb

Memorial Service

02:00 PM

St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church 920 Salter Path Rd Salter Path, NC 28575 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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