COLUMBIA — Mary Joan Weatherly (Ragsdell) Eisenstark, of Columbia, Missouri, passed away on August 26, 2023, at the age of 86. She was born on January 14, 1937 in Alhambra, California to Jesse Herman Weatherly and Amelia Light Weatherly, who preceded her in death.
She was also preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Abraham Eisenstark, her sister, Martha Edwards, and her son-in-law, Greg Kludac.
She is survived by her children, Blake (and Vicki) Ragsdell of Louisville, Kentucky, Phyllis Kludac of Bonita Springs, Florida, Carla (and Brian) Wilson of Farmington and Blue Springs, Missouri, Bruce Ragsdell of Columbia, Missouri and Brian Rags dell of Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as her brother, Gene (and Rita) Weatherly of Panama City Beach, Florida. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Chelsea (and Mark) Dodds, Garrison Ragsdell, Ali Braun, Josh Ragsdell, Haley Ragsdell, Alex Ragsdell, Benjamin Ragsdell, Duncan Ragsdell, Hazel Ragsdell and William Ragsdell, as well as her two great-grandchildren, Daxton Dodds and Elizabeth Eck.
Joan was an extraordinary woman, who exemplified strength, intelligence and love. With unwavering determination, she embarked on a remarkable journey, raising her children single-handedly. She was their endless source of love and support. Through the challenges, she never faltered, proving that her strength knew no bounds. Joan raised her five children in Farmington, Missouri, where she was a real estate agent. She then moved to Columbia to pursue her dream, returning to college to earn both her bachelor and masters degrees at the University of Missouri in Columbia. It was there she met her husband, Abe, who was a professor at the university. Her dedication and passion for learning was inspiring, setting an example for her children that education is a lifelong pursuit.
Her love for literature and cinema knew no bounds. Whether immersed in the pages of a book or captivated by a movie, she found something of interest in everything she watched or read. Travel was also an important part of her life. She embraced the beauty of different cultures and loved her adventures with her husband. They were able to travel extensively, including yearly trips to Paris where Abe was collaborating with scientists at the University of Paris before his death.
Above all, her heart was filled with love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She cherished every moment spent with them, nurturing bonds that would last a lifetime. Her legacy of love lives on in the hearts of those she touched.
In honoring her memory, we celebrate a strong, smart and amazing woman who defied odds, pursued her dreams and radiated love. She was not just a mother, but a friend, and will never be forgotten.
A private memorial will be held on August 31, 2023 in Columbia, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in the name of Joan Weatherly Eisenstark. Contributions can be made online at https://donate.cancer.org.