Lyn Ragsdale

March 31, 1954–December 13, 2020

Lyn Ragsdale, Ph.D., the Radoslav A. Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at Rice University, a dedicated scholar, educator, administrator, researcher, author, traveler and patron of the arts, died unexpectedly at her Houston home on Sunday,  December 13, 2020. A dynamic force, she lived an accomplished life and her hard work, intellect, generosity, caring nature, and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed.


Lyn was a beloved wife, mother and sister. In 1988, she married fellow political scientist, Jerrold “Jerry” Rusk and they had 32 wonderful years together sharing academic pursuits, music, sports, theatre and travel.  Together they raised their son, Saint Louis Ballet company member, Matthew Rusk.


Lyn loved the arts, especially ballet.  She passed her passion onto Matthew when at the age of 5 he attended his first ballet, The Nutcracker, and loved it.  From that moment on, ballet became Matthew's passion. Lyn and Matthew attended hundreds of ballets together throughout the world, providing Matthew with the opportunity to learn from the finest ballet dancers.


Lyn was overjoyed when Matthew became a professional ballet dancer.  She attended his every performance with Saint Louis Ballet, regularly traveling to St. Louis from Houston. Over the years, she became a great friend to the ballet company, supporting its professional and community-based programs with great enthusiasm.


Saint Louis Ballet extends our deepest sympathy to Matthew and to all of Lyn’s family and friends at this profoundly difficult time.  To read more about Lyn and her amazing life, click here.

To make a contribution to Saint Louis Ballet in Lyn’s memory, click here

Matthew Rusk performs Cavalier in "The Nutcracker". Photo by Kelly Pratt



In memory of Lyn Ragsdale

            Kathryn Cervenka

            Jeanne Doornbos and Michael Maher

            Songying Fang

            Marilyn Getzov

            Brian Hammer

            Allegra Hernandez

            Vivian Ho and Richard Boylan

            Diane Kaiser

            Rachel Kimbro

            Kathleen Matthews

            Susan McIntosh

            Marie Lynn Miranda

            Tracy Ragsdale

            Kris Ramesh

            Brandon Rottinghaus

            Richard Stoll

            Mark Toubin

            Stephen Vetzner

            George Zodrow


In memory of Sarah Brent Ridley Tremble, who loved ballet.

            Dr. Seldin Tremble


In memory of those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19

            Elaine Kavanaugh


In memory of Betty Abernathie

            Chad and Julie Johnson


In memory of Joseph Meives and John Meives

            Richard Meives


In memory of Frank Joseph Napp, who loved to watch his granddaughter dance.

            Marlene and Lisa Napp


In memory of Doris Pree

            Dolores Miller


In honor of Lauren Christensen

            The Arneson Family

            Courtney Christensen

            Reatha Christensen


In honor of Rebecca Cornett

            Karen Allgeier


In honor of Jennifer and Gary Cowgill

            Nathalie Williams


In honor of Sarah Glasser

            Janice Gunst

            Julianne Kirk

            Cinthia Larrew

            Kay Lewkowsky

            Annette and Randall Markarian

            Anna Brasher Molina     

            Amanda Spitzer Settle

            Patricia Whiteside

            Harry Willis


In honor of Julie Heiss

            Sharon Burman


In honor of Amy Herchenroether and Family

            Jane Corbelli

            Susan Herchenroether

            Elaine Sheehan


In honor of Ms. Rosalind Holden

            Brian and Keri Hoffmann


In honor of Gen and Tanya Horiuchi

            Nancy Goldstein

            Paris Hobbs      


In honor of Elizabeth Lloyd

            Cathie and Scott Hernandez

            Kim Hollis

            Dorothy Powell

            Stephen and Carol Wilenchek


In honor of Rachelle Mahoney

            Richard Mahoney


In honor of Arleen Meadows

            Merridith von Hartitzsch


In honor of Matthew Rusk

            Kathy Svensson Sykes


In honor of Kirsten Schultz

            Brian Schultz

            Sue Sonke


In honor of the staff and dancers of Saint Louis Ballet

            Lauren Landman

            Pamela Wollenberg


In honor of Alice Carter Seddon

            Margaret Gilleo and Charles Guenther


In honor of Mary Strauss

            Julie and Tim Noonan

            Kelly Pollock

            Stephanie Riven

            Lisa and Tom Suntrup    

            Fabienne Vincel


In honor of Masaki Suzuki

            Masami Suzuki


In honor of Thomas R. and Carol Voss

            Marc Gordon

            Michael Isaacson and Joseph Ortmeyer

            Charmaigne Scott          


In honor of Patricia and Dr. Leo Whiteside

            Jane and Al Van Amburg


In honor of Lori Wilson

            Jason Brown


In honor of Vanessa Woods

            John Bradbury

If you are interested in honoring or remembering a friend or family member with a tax-deductible gift to Saint Louis Ballet

please contact Valerie Miller at

Above: SLB Dancers in Christopher Wheeldon's "The American", photo by Kelly Pratt

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