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

              Jeffrey Compton

              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

              Courtney Stefancyk

              Richard Stoll

              Kathy Sykes and Stephen Vetzner

              Renee Templeraud

              Mark Toubin

              George Zodrow


In memory of Sarah Brent Ridley Trimble, who loved ballet

            Dr. Selden Trimble


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 Charles Wade Gilbert

            Alice Gilbert


In memory of David Herman

            Laura Moore, My Verdant Green


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 Lillian Noga

            Michael Noga

In memory of Mary M. Marschner

           Jemima Phillips


In memory of Doris Pree

            Dolores Miller


In memory of Alex Weisebach

            Karen Allgeier


In honor of Debra Armistead

            Courtney Armistead


In honor of Margarita Botta

            Charles Tuschling


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 Ana Victoria Garcia

            Ivette Geusz

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 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 Ruby and Eloise Morris

            Swedroe Family Charitable Foundation at Youthbridge Community Foundation

In honor of Phillury Platte

            Cynthia McDonnell


In honor of Matthew Rusk

            Kathy Svensson Sykes


In honor of the beautiful dancers of Saint Louis Ballet 

            Marc Ellis and Kathy LaRocco

            Lauren Landman

In honor of the staff and dancers of Saint Louis Ballet

            Pamela Wollenberg

In honor of Kirsten Schultz

            Brian Schultz

            Sue Sonke


In honor of Alice Carter Seddon

            Margaret Gilleo and Charles Guenther

In honor of Sean Sessions

            Laura Sessions


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 Koichiro Tago

            Miho and Koichiro Tago     


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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