Darthy Lee Ragsdale Loy, known as “Dot” by family and friends, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, July 4 at Atrium Health in Lincolnton, after being in declining health for a year.
Born December 17, 1929 to Tero Wesley Ragsdale and Gurtha Louvenia Faulkner in Alamance County, she resided there for a short time before the family moved to Albemarle. Dot’s love of the piano began at a very early age and her talent was immediately recognized, particularly by young pastor and future husband, Rev. J.W. Loy Jr. whom she married February 9, 1946.
She held a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory, teaching piano in public schools to include Aquadale, Patterson, Locust Elementary, and from home. In addition, she taught piano at Loy’s Music Nook in Albemarle and was pianist at South Albemarle Baptist Church. Dot served as organist, pianist and church secretary at Locust Baptist Church during Rev. Loy’s ten-year pastorate, along with being an active member of the W.M.U. and women’s trio. Dot was an integral part of the inner workings of the church in the role of pastor’s wife, teaching, cooking, hosting missionaries and guest speakers in their home, along with the planning and implementation of many church activities.
After moving to Salisbury in 1965, she became a member of Milford Hills Baptist Church, plus served as organist and assisted with the choir at Yadkin Methodist Church in Spencer during the pastorate of Rev. Benny Hillard. In addition, she was a substitute teacher at North Hills Christian School, and alongside her husband, helped teach in a successful program designed for advanced CP students hosted by the Salisbury Recreation Department.
She continued teaching piano from home for an impressive fifty years in total. Through the years, many of her students developed their own passion for music, going on to earn degrees and become instructors, with some being credited for writing original scores.
Dot will be remembered not only for her love of the piano but that of baking, cake decorating and crocheting. Through the years, she shared many of those talents with family, friends and co-workers.
After her daughter married, she was fondly called “Grandmommy” by her two grandchildren, who she helped care for and provided hours of entertainment, many times centered around the piano, or singing in the car. Her passing leaves many memories, many lives touched and huge space in a very small family.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 73 years, J.W.; daughter, Shari Keller (Rex) of Salisbury; son, JW “Chris” Loy III of Lincolnton; granddaughter, Christy Hart, Salisbury; grandson, Wesley Hart (Teri) of New Bern; great-grandchildren, Tesia Hart, Cameron Hart, Kylie Hart; great-great grandson Zoda Lawrence; step-grandchildren Heather Boyette, Grant Boyette, Heath Keller, Cody Keller; brother Curtis Ragsdale (Joan) of Albemarle; and nephews Curtis Jr. and Chris Ragsdale.
The family received friends from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at Summersett Funeral Home.
Funeral services followed at 11 a.m. at Summersett Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Joe Thomas, minister of Franklin Baptist Church officiating. Interment followed at Rowan Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Dot’s name to the Music Ministry Department at Franklin Baptist Church, 3810 Hwy 601 Salisbury, NC 28147.
The family would like to thank especially Pastor Joe and Norma Thomas, Dicy McCullough, Kirby Hills and the church family at Franklin Baptist Church, for their outpouring of help and emotional support.
Online condolences may be made at www.summersettfuneralhome.com.
Summersett Funeral Home of Salisbury, N.C. is serving the Loy family.
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