Dr. Jack Ramsay Naples, FL
NBA Hall of Fame Coach and widely respected sports broadcaster Dr. Jack Ramsay died peacefully at his home in Naples, FL on Monday morning. He was 89.
Known as Dr. Jack to fans, Ramsay was famous for his deep understanding of basketball, his devotion to fitness, his colorful clothing style, and his endless energy. He capped a seven-decade career in basketball by leading the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship, the only championship in franchise history.
Ramsay also coached the Philadelphia 76ers, the Buffalo Braves and Indiana Pacers during a 21- year NBA career that brought him together with legendary players Bill Walton, Wilt Chamberlain, Reggie Miller, Bob McAdoo and many, many others. Prior to his NBA career, Ramsay was a Big Five Basketball great as head coach of the St. Joseph's Hawks from 1955 to 1966.
Even though he is best known as a coach, Dr. Ramsay was also an educator, broadcaster for ESPN, prolific writer and author of four books. He loved teaching coaches, too. He worked basketball clinics throughout the world, helping to expose a global audience to the NBA.
Philadelphia native, Ramsay graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1942. He earned a scholarship to nearby St. Joseph's College upon graduation. In 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a member of the elite Frogman Underwater Demolition Team, a precursor to the Navy Seals. He graduated from St. Joseph's in 1949. His nickname, 'Dr. Jack,' grew from the masters and doctoral degrees in education he later earned from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ramsay played semi-pro basketball for the Sunbury Mercurys in the 1950s. While teaching and coaching high school basketball, he built a family with his loving wife of 60 years Jean Duffey Ramsay. When Jean was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2001, he cared for her until her death in 2010.
Nicknamed 'Pop' at home, he will be deeply missed by his five children and their spouses, Susan and Vincent Dailey, John and Michele Ramsay, Sharon and Jim O'Brien, Chris and Cristina Ramsay and Carolyn Ramsay and Andy Goodman; as well as his loving companion, Isabel (Dolly) Johnson. He is also survived by his 13 grandchildren, Melissa McCormack and Geoffry Dailey; Nicholas, Jacob and Luke Ramsay; Shannon, Jack and Caitlyn O'Brien; Sofia, Tessa and Chloe Ramsay and Daniel and Olivia Goodman - along with his four great-grandchildren; TJ and Cliona McCormack; Vincent Dailey and Will Hammann.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday (TODAY), April 30th, 2014 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL 34109.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 625 111th Avenue North, Naples, FL 34108.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be greatly appreciated to: The Dr. Jack Ramsay '49 Scholarship, St. Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131.
For online condolences, please visit www.fullernaples.com