Cover photo for Ragnar Staples Liljequist's Obituary
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1933 Ragnar 2022

Ragnar Staples Liljequist

May 8, 1933 — December 15, 2022

Ragnar Liljequist, of Bainbridge Island, died on December 15, 2022 at Madrona House on Madison Avenue, Bainbridge Island. He was 89.


He was born in Chicago IL to Muriel and Leon Liljequist on May 8, 1933. He grew up in Chicago and graduated from Taft High School in 1951, and in 1959 received his B.A. degree in English Literature from North Central College in Naperville IL.


As a youngster, Ragnar’s favorite summer vacations were spent with his family on their 4-acre island on Lake Wausau, Wisconsin, where he would later duck hunt every Fall. He joined the Navy in 1951, and was an aviation electronics striker aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain, which was deployed in the Yellow Sea during the Korea Conflict in 1954. Japan was his favorite Port of Call, so much so that he developed a lifelong love of everything Japanese: the people, their culture, food, art and architecture.


Ragnar played an active role in the halcyon days of 1960s American advertising. After several years as a promotional copywriter, Ragnar became vice president of operations for Robert Vogele Inc., a groundbreaking Chicago advertising and graphic design agency. He later worked for D’Arcy Advertising Agency as an account manager. Even in his last months, he was very opinionated about the placement of photos in front of his bed!


In 1974, Ragnar and his family moved to Bainbridge Island, where he was director of research and long-term planning for the public relations department of Pacific Northwest Bell. Later, as Realtor with Kushner, Stringer, and Hill/Windermere, he helped many buy and sell their homes, with an eye for quality and beauty. He enjoyed racing his Port Madison pram in the dinghy races sponsored by the Port Madison Yacht Club, and served as a harbor steward on Port Madison Bay. In his retirement, Ragnar lived for many years on the south side of Port Madison Bay, where he maintained a large dock, hosting a variety of lovely craft. During this time he also enjoyed keeping many informed of the latest developments on the internet.


Late in life, he was gratefully able to maintain independence through wonderful support, first at home through Island Volunteer Caregivers, and later at the Madison and Madrona Houses.


Ragnar was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Garth. He is survived by his sons, Bradley of Seattle; Dag of Poulsbo; brother Jon of Sanibel FL, and sister Barbara Chaplin of Silt CO.


A memorial service will be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church (Bainbridge Island) on February 26 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Island Volunteer Caregivers, ivcbainbridge.org.


Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ragnar Staples Liljequist, please visit our flower store.

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