BANDON - Bonnie Ragan was honored as Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center’s non-clinical Employee of the Month for May.
Ragan has worked in the hospital’s Dietary Department since February 2019. She was nominated for her “superb skills as a dietary cook.”
“She routinely goes the extra mile cheerfully,” her nomination states. “Bonnie is very mindful in checking and double-checking all dietary orders. She is always willing to jump in with problem-solving and bringing in new ideas in order to add value to the department’s responsibilities and tasks as a whole.”
Ragan has lived in Bandon since 2001. She grew up in Sacramento, Calif., until she was 12 years old, then her family moved to Oroville, Calif. In 1998, she moved with her family to Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
Ragan loves to cook and has been doing so for a long time, both professionally and for her family. Ruidoso Downs is also a small town that has a well-known horse racing track, so summers were especially busy for the restaurant industry. She helped open a Denny’s Classic Diner there and was their first cook. She has fond memories of the close-knit staff at the diner, which had a jukebox that customers would plunk coins into. Whenever “YMCA” came on, the entire kitchen staff would do the dance moves together.
The heat in California was unbearable in the summers, so when Ragan’s family moved from New Mexico, they decided to follow her younger sister to Oregon instead of returning to California. She moved with her mother to Langlois, then moved into Bandon. She now lives with her daughter in Myrtle Point, with her mother close by in Coquille.
Ragan has four grown children – three sons and a daughter – and eight grandchildren. Her daughter Tabitha Bird and her 11-year-old son and twin 2-year-olds live with Ragan in Myrtle Point. Tabitha formerly worked as a phlebotomist at SCHHC. Ragan’s middle son Jesse Bird also lives in the area, while her eldest son Cory Bird lives in Vancouver, Wash., and her youngest son Daniel Bird lives in Wilsonville, Ore. All of her children attended Bandon High School.
Ragan has always loved cooking because it makes people happy and that in turn makes her happy. At the hospital, she is known for her delicious soups. Her personal favorite is the Italian Meatball soup. She’s passed the skill on, as her children are also good cooks and her daughter is an excellent baker.
In her spare time, Ragan is involved with a church women’s group in Myrtle Point and has made some good friends there.
“It’s just a wonderful church,” she said. “They do a lot of things for the community.”
Other than that, she said she’s a “homebody” who likes to spend time with her daughter and grandchildren, her dog and three cats, and outside tending her yard and plants. And she likes to cook meals for her family.
Ragan also enjoys her job at SCHHC.
“Everyone is friendly and nice in the kitchen and the whole hospital. I like working in the kitchen here, it’s very family oriented.”