Joe Ramsey

Joe Ramsey, of Fair Oaks, California, passed away on Monday, September 24, 2012, at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, California, after a brave and hard-fought battle with lung cancer. He was seventy-five years old. Born in La Grande, Oregon, on August 21, 1937, to Owen Jasper Ramsey II ("Buck") and Agnes Ramsey, Joe went to El Camino High School in Sacramento and then on to Stanford University, where he earned both an undergraduate degree in political science and history and a law degree. After graduating, he married fellow Stanford graduate and love of his life, Diane, on September 4, 1960, and then proceeded to build a successful and prestigious law career in Sacramento. Joe loved the Sacramento area and its legal community, and thus made it the permanent home for his family and his entire career as a lawyer, which he consistently practiced with the utmost integrity, ethics, honesty, and concern for fairness and truth. Joe worked hard to become an excellent trial lawyer and had unflagging faith in the legal system, particularly the jury system, which he respected to the highest degreeand juries recognized and responded to this respect and sincerity because Joe was authentic, honest, and compassionate in every case, every trial, without regard to monetary gain for himself. Joe worked hard to establish himself as one of the last of a dying breedthe experienced and highly talented trial lawyer and litigatorbecause he knew he had the confidence and know-how to take cases all the way to trial and wasn't afraid to do so when necessary for his clients. Along the way, Joe mentored many young lawyers, passing on his high standards of ethics and excellence in the practice of the law. In addition, he gave his time generously and freely to countless friends and worthy causes, his most passionate being the cause of animal welfare and protection, thus his long-time close association with and contributions toward The Humane Society of the United States, as member and then Chairman of the Board of Directors. Later in his law career, Joe focused on "alternative-dispute resolution," helping to establish mediation as a viable and effective option to resolve litigation, thus enabling cases to be prosecuted more expediently for all involved, including the over-loaded court system. Because he loved the law and thrived on and even required the intellectual and inter-personal challenges it offered him during his life, Joe worked until the very end, successfully mediating and settling one final case on Thursday, September 20, 2012. In his personal life, Joe was an exceptionally devoted husband, father, grandfather, Democrat, Giants fan, and animal lover, among many other things. He and Diane have given caring and loving homes to countless dogs and cats. He was also an avid reader and life-long learner, following politics and current local and world events, and he prided himself on staying informed, knowledgeable, and aware of and actively involved in what was going on in his community and the worldhe didn't just talk the talk; he walked the walk, literally: during the 2008 Presidential campaign, for example, he and his daughter Samantha walked door-to-door in Nevada for President Obama's election, which Joe was overjoyed to have witnessed in his lifetime. In addition, he was a constant reader and writer, and wrote many pieces throughout his life, including a novel, The Unkindest Cut, centered on the theme of degradation of the forests and the environment, yet another cause he fought for. Joe is survived by his wife, Diane; his children, Jenny, Lisa, Samantha, and Ben; and his grandchildren, Jackie, Tyler, Dylan, Brandon, Joey, and Emma; along with countless rescued cats and eight (currently) rescued dogs, most notably Biff, Joe's devoted canine companion, who was by his side or on his lap at all times, watching over him and helping to keep his spirits up during Joe's heart-breaking battle with cancer. Consistent with his humble attitude, it was Joe's wish that there be no funeral or memorial service. It was Joe's wish that people pay their respects by making a donation to a charity or the Obama-Biden campaign. Suggested Charities: The Humane Society of the United States: The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: The Sacramento Food Bank: Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary:

Published in Sacramento Bee on Oct. 4, 2012