January 30, 1958
October 19, 2018
Tamir Ragonis, loving husband, devoted father, dependable friend, and community servant passed from this life on Friday, October 19, 2018, in an auto accident. His wife and children were the essence of his being and he loved them dearly. Tamir was so proud of his children and he always put them first. Tamir and Wende’s marriage was built on a solid foundation of love and respect and they were dedicated in service to each other.
Visitation will be on Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Brenham Memorial Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at Brenham Presbyterian Church. A private family interment will be held at Oak Rest Cemetery in Brenham earlier Monday. Officiating at both services will Rabbi Dan Gordon and Rev. Doctor Brent Hampton.
Throughout a lengthy illness with lymphatic cancer, Tamir remained strong and persevered to overcome immense personal suffering and was in cancer remission at the time of his death. After his cancer recovery, Tamir compassionately and cheerfully sacrificed his personal time to visit friends in the hospital who were undergoing treatment for cancer, and was known to sit for hours at their bedside.
Prior to his battle with cancer, Tamir was an active community leader and volunteer, serving on the Brenham Country Club Board. He was a soccer coach and loved to teach and share about his native country of Israel with the children at St. Paul’s Christian Day School. He enjoyed learning about the traditions of Maifest and participating in this event over the years. On any given morning, Tamir could be found sharing breakfast or coffee with one or more of his buddies around town.
Tamir was self-employed for more than 25 years as a computer numerical control (CNC) engineer, both servicing and selling CNC machines. He excelled and loved his work, but more importantly he loved touching the lives of his customers. He was known for going out of his way to help friends find opportunities to grow and advances their careers.
Tamir was born on January 30, 1958, in Afula, Israel, in the Jezreel Valley, to Haim Ragonis and Lea Ofir Ragonis. With a large extended family, he grew up surrounded and supported by his parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom he cherished. Tamir often said that, although they did not have a lot of toys or games, he and his brothers, Eitan and Alon, found plenty to do, playing outside all day with each other and their friends and relatives. In his youth, Tamir enjoyed horseback riding, handball and football (known as soccer in the U.S.). At age 15, Tamir was the judo champion of Israel; he later used those skills to train others in the Israeli military.
After completing high school, Tamir joined the Israeli Air Force, as a pilot training to fly fighter jets; however, upon realizing he was more interested in the mechanics of planes than in flying them, he changed course to learn about building and maintaining aircraft. Tamir studied mechanical engineering at ORT Syngalowsky College, in Tel Aviv, after which he served on a joint Israeli-U.S. military task force focused on the design and construction of fighter jets. He first came to the U.S. in the late 1980’s as part of this diplomatic effort, working in New York City, and then later moving to Houston, to be near friends.
Tamir became an American citizen in 1992, and was very proud to be an American. He did not take the privileges of American citizenship for granted. For example, on national election days, Tamir encouraged others to take advantage of their right to vote and would offer to drive them to their polling place. He was very passionate about discussing politics and current political events, and never shied away from sharing his opinion. One always knew where Tamir stood on an issue.
Tamir enjoyed helping others, selflessly dispensing “small acts of kindness” whenever he could. Just a few days before his death, a Brenham friend remembered Tamir’s taking her grocery shopping cart to the basket corral. Others have recalled Tamir as a servant to people in sometimes small but caring ways. He maintained a vast network of friends and customers throughout the U.S. and Israel, and could always be counted on to listen or provide support for them and their families. One of his greatest joys was phone calls to his relatives and friends in Israel, when he could speak his native Hebrew and share with those he held dear.
Tamir is survived by his wife of 20 years, Wende Jones Ragonis; son Noah, a freshman at Baylor University; son Cole, a junior at Brenham High School; and daughter Moli, a freshman at Brenham High School. He is also survived by his father, Haim Ragonis, of Rishon Le Zion, Israel; his two brothers, Eitan Ragonis and wife Dafna, and Alon Ragonis and wife Hagit; and many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Cherished in laws are Olen and Charleen Jones of Brenham. Tamir was preceded in death by his mother, Lea Ofir Ragonis.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Christian Day School, 305 W. 3rd St., Brenham, Texas 77833, or Blinn College A.W. Hodde Technical Education Center, 2910 S. Blue Bell Rd., Brenham, Texas 77833. Friends of the family have established the Ragonis Family Education Fund at Citizens State Bank, 2007 S. Day St., Brenham, Texas 77833, where donations may be made c/o Chris Cangelosi.