Longtime Ramona resident, Bob Ransom, died Monday, July 16, 2012, in Morro Bay, CA, he was 91. Bob was born April 17, 1921, in Atkinson, IL, to Robert N. and Hazel Higgins Ransom. He moved with his family to Ramona in October 1924 when they purchased the lumber and hardware business on B Street from John C. Bargar.|
After graduating from Ramona High School in 1939 with a class of 28 students, he qualified for the Old Pacific Padres and was invited to be on their training team in Yakima, WA. However, with a paycheck of $1 a day, he had to turn it down. Instead, he went to aircraft school in Hillcrest and then worked for Convair in San Diego for two years before enlisting in the U. S. Navy on November 11, 1942. Because of his Convair experience, he spent most of the next four years working in the Carrier Aircraft Service Unit repairing fighter planes.
When he left the Navy, his father was in poor health so he returned to Ramona to help out at Ransom Bros. Lumber & Supply Co. as part-owner with his uncles, Stan and Pete, and his cousin, Joe Ransom. His father died in 1948 and Bob remained there until his retirement in 1985.
Bob married Ona C. Grant in Wasco, CA, on June 22, 1947, and they made their home in his grandparents' house near the lumber yard. They were active in the Congregational Church and raised four daughters, all of whom also graduated from Ramona High School.
Bob joined the local Rotary Club in October 1948 and was president in 1962-63. He had over 63 years of perfect attendance. Many family vacations were arranged around attending Rotary meetings in other locations across the country. After he retired, Bob and Ona took many trips in their motorhome across the U.S. and Canada, including two trips to Alaska.
He loved sports of all kinds, but baseball was always his first love. He took umpire classes at Palomar College and was assigned to games through the North County Umpire Association. He was also active in Little League games and ran a local umpire school in the 1950s and 60s.
After Ona died in 1999, Bob continued to take his motorhome to the Central Coast where he stayed in Morro Bay. While there in 2001, he became reacquainted with Virginia Elliot Hanigan, a fellow Ramona High School graduate who had also grown up in Ramona. Virginia, a resident of Morro Bay, had also lost her spouse. Bob and Virginia were soon married.
During the next ten years, they split their time between Ramona and Morro Bay where they were active in both communities. They always made sure to be in town in September every year to attend the All-Class Reunions.
Survivors include his wife, Virginia Hanigan Ransom; daughters and sons-in-law, Ona Rae Belzner, Ruth and David Keyser, and Mary and Roy Cordaro, all of Ramona, and Ann and George Alcaraz of Yuma, AZ; and grandchildren, Anna and Lauren Keyser, Robert and Thomas Alcaraz, Grant and Gregg Kniff, and Sarah Mason. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ona; oldest grandson, Daniel Robert Keyser; sisters, Lucy, Margaret, Roberta and Martha; and brother, Paul.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2012, at 10am at the Ramona First Congregational Church. A private family burial service will be at Ramona Nuevo Memory Gardens. Memorial donations have been suggested to First Congregational Church of Ramona.
Over 91 years, Bob made and kept friends all over the country. He had many fond memories of growing up in Ramona and always said that he had a wonderful life.
Published in the Ramona Sentinel on July 26, 2012