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John Douglas Ramsey

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John Douglas Ramsey Obituary
John Douglas Ramsey

John Douglas Ramsey was born October 15, 1936, south of Tallulah, in Madison Parish, Louisiana and died June 23, 2014, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. At his request there will be no funeral as he never believed in anyone missing work. He will be laid to rest at the Lone Cherry Cemetery, by family and Brown-Holley Funeral Home, Rayville at a later date.

Preceded in death by his parents, Charles Grant and Thelma Bennett Ramsey, sisters and brothers-in-law, Evelyn and Jerry Parker, Ollie and Lynn Talley, and Lola and Jim Slaton, brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Nell Sturdivant Ramsey, Houston and Lillie Morris Ramsey, and brother, Billy Ray Ramsey, step-mother, Idell Temple Chricerol Ramsey, nieces and spouses, Linda Jean Parker and Bill Copeland and Janice Parker and James Stampley and nephews-in-law, Bud Olivo, Howard Conley and nephews, William Parker III. Mr. & Mrs. Henry Crawford, brothers-in-law, A.T. Eubanks, Jerry Revis and Othor Crawford, sisters-in-law, Etta Sharbono (O.M.) Crawford and Karen Harp (Pete) Crawford and niece, Rhonda Crawford Bishop, nephew, Michael Jordan, great-nephew, James Killen Jr., great niece, Barbara Hales.

Survived by his wife of 57 years, Hilda Gay Crawford Ramsey, daughter of Henry and Bea Crawford, John and Hilda have a daughter, Jaye Ramsey (J-Bird) and son-in-law, John Ben Sutter of Sugar Land, Texas. In the Ramsey family: sister-in-law, Barbara Ramsey of Tyler, Texas, seven nephews, five nieces and their spouses, step-mother, Lessie Johnston Ramsey and other family members. In the Crawford family: brother-in-law, Pete Crawford of Pawnee, Oklahoma, and sisters-in-law, Zelma Crawford Eubanks of Brandon, Mississippi, Tiny Crawford Revis of Farmerville, Louisiana, five nephews, six nieces, and very special people, Eddie Jeselink, Uncle Ted Crawford, and the Crawford cousins.

John, known by many as J.D. or Zeke, grew up in the cotton fields around, Holly Ridge, Start and Rayville, graduating from Rayville High School in 1956. In his young life, he attended the Church of Christ with his family, and joined the Baptist Church in 1957 in Texas. He loved music, could name a song title, the year it became popular, the artist and the composer by the first few notes. He loved family, sports, teammates and classmates. In the sixth grade at Start School, he started playing basketball. During the 1950's, John would practice in the Rayville Gym on weekends by himself. For a while, he would climb through the dressing room window, until one day Principal Hargis said, "The east door will be open, at Mrs. Hargis' request." John played all school sports for 4 years, named "Most Cooperative 1955" by the RHS football team and "Best Athlete 1956" by the RHS students. His proudest sports achievement was being a member of the "1953 Hornet's Football Team - North LA Class A Champions." When life dealt him a tough time, he always said, "I'm a Coach Campbell and Coach Jennings' kid."

John moved to Irving, Texas, in May, 1956. His first job in the Dallas area was with a printing company and then Sunbeam Bread. He joined the Texas 49th National Guard, served in the U.S. Army twice. His second tour was at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was called to active duty by President John F. Kennedy during the Berlin Crisis. Many friends from the Rayville Area were also at Fort Polk. He stayed in the Guard and the Reserves for many years. He completed his service as a Sergeant E5.

Returning home in 1962 from Fort Polk, he started working for General Motors at Arlington, Texas and worked with a Rayville High School friend, Bobby Weaver. In 1970, he left GM for a partnership with Petroleum Products a manufacturing company. In 1975, he sold his interests and went work for his brother-in-law, managing a large machine shop. He co-owned and co-managed the business until 1984. In 1984 a neighbor asked him to go to work at Williamson Printing, one of the largest printing companies in the south. The company and owners would call him back to work on special projects after he moved to Rayville.

In 1990, Nancy Dixon showed the Ramsey's the Boles' house, which they purchased in 1991. In 1994 they moved to Rayville. After planting winter grass on a business property in Rayville, Zeke's new mowing business was underway. Zeke helped several lawn businesses get started. One of "Mr. John's" first employees was Theotis Griffen and along with Bruce Smith, Juan Martinez, Greg Flint, David Head, Mike McNaughton and others, they formed a special friendship. Special thanks to Kathy and her staff at the Rainbow Nursery and the men at Bill's Motors and Delta Small Engines.

John has received several Rayville volunteer honors including awards from the Southern Pickin' & Ginnin' Board 1997, Rhymes Memorial Library 1997, Chase Manhattan Arts Award presented by the Northeast LA Arts Council, the "Regional Volunteer of the Year Nominee 1999", Nonnie Roark Rhymes Memorial Award 2004, and the Richland Parish 2006 Inspiration Award.

John was always in good health, taking maybe 5 aspirins in his life. After neck surgery in January 1993, he took the newly developed PSA test. The test results were poor; John underwent prostate cancer surgery in April 1993. The cancer had moved to the lymph glands. In 2009 thru 2012 John fought bladder cancer with the help of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He never stopped working. He believed in helping others by openly discussing cancer issues and encouraging others fighting cancer to keep working, to stay busy and to never have a bad day.

The family would like to thank relatives, neighbors and friends for the visits, calls, help, food, mowing and support thorough out the past months. Special thanks to Dr. Massengale and staff, the Amedisys Staff, the Southern Care Hospice Group,

Ms. Jean Germany, the churches, all the prayers, the teams of 9-1-1, the chief's and Sheriff's staff of officers. Thanks to eleven special ladies.

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center of Houston, Texas, the of American and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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Published in The News Star on June 25, 2014
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