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Forrest Ramser

Forrest Ramser Obituary

Family-Placed Death Notice

RAMSER, Forrest FORREST LEE RAMSER Forrest Lee Ramser, "The Captain", 85, of Watkinsville, Georgia died September 14, 2010 following an extended illness. Mr. Ramser was born March 13, 1925 to Fred and Margaret Wallace Ramser in Alliance, Ohio. Following graduation from Alliance High School in 1943, Mr. Ramser immediately entered the United States Navy and served in the US Navy Submarine Service in the South Pacific Theatre as an Electrician's Mate during World War II. He served on the USS Razorback and the USS Pufferfish and was present at the signing of the Peace Treaty with Japan in 1945. He married Helen Margaret Greek on January 5, 1947; they had been married for 60 years at the time of Mrs. Ramser's death in August, 2007. Three children were born to Forrest and Helen: Janet Lee, Watkinsville, GA; Mark Alan (Jean), Zionsville, IN and Fred Milton (Betty Jo), Goshen, IN. Surviving Mr. Ramser are his three children; his grandchildren, Christine N. Brubaker (Janet Rountree), Nicholson, GA; Laura K. Brubaker Sparr (David), Watkinsville, GA ; Forrest Michael Ramser (Courtney), Winter Garden, FL; Adam N. Ramser, Indianapolis, IN; Seth P. Ramser, West Lafayette, IN; Kyle B. Ramser, Santa Rosa, CA; and his great-grandchildren, Skylar M. Sparr; Zachary E. Sparr and Forrest Matthew Ramser. Upon his discharge from the Navy, Mr. Ramser returned to Alliance, married, bought a panel truck, rug cleaning equipment and with money saved in the Navy started his first business. In 1953 he began work as a billing clerk at United Cooperatives and was Assistant Manager of the Farm Hardware Department when he left in 1955 to move to Milford, Indiana. During his years at United Cooperatives, Mr. Ramser met Howard Brembeck, founder of Chore-Time Equipment, Inc., Milford, IN, a manufacturing business whose innovations in the mechanized feeding and watering of poultry changed the face of the poultry industry. Started in the basement of Mr. Brembeck's home, Mr. Ramser was Chore-Time's first employee and shareholder; he was the Senior Vice President of Chore-Time Equipment, Inc., and CTB, Inc.; Executive Vice President of CT Sales, Inc.; and President and Managing Director of Chore-Time Elite, N.V., Maldegem, Belgium until 1985. In 1968, Chore-Time decided to open a southern division in Georgia to be near the expanding commercial egg and poultry industry. Mr. Ramser agreed to move from Indiana to build a manufacturing plant on 441 South in Watkinsville which is now the Oconee State Bank Operations Center. The Ramsers and their son Fred, moved to Athens in August 1970. Mr. Ramser held the position of Senior Vice President of Chore- Time Brock, Inc., Watkinsville, GGA until 1985. Seeing the market potential in Europe and Asia, Chore-Time Elite, N.V., Maldegem, Belgium, was established in 1967 to manufacture mechanized poultry and pig raising systems. CT Elite was split off from the parent company in 1985 and Mr. Ramser took ownership. Defying the advice of marketing experts, the company's name was changed to Roxell N.V. and the company's signature colors of red and white were changed to yellow and gray. Always an innovator in the poultry and swine manufacturing industry, Roxell N.V. purchased A. Stevens N.V., St. Niklaus, Belgium, an injection molding plastics manufacturer. The new company, EFG, N.V., manufactured the molded plastic feeding, watering pans and parts for Roxell N.V. and other businesses. Roxell N.V purchased SIPCO Co., Springdale, Arkansas in 1991 and Roxell, Inc. was formed to bring the innovative ideas and products of Roxell N.V. to the North and South American market. In 1997 Mr. Ramser, the Chairman of Roxell N.V., sold his interest in the businesses to the managing partners of Roxell N.V. and his three children. CTB International, the original founding parent company, bought Roxell N.V./Inc. in 1999 and brought those companies back into the CTB fold. These and numerous other agricultural companies owned by CTB International were then purchased by Warren Buffet's investment company, Berkshire Hathaway. During his forty years in Georgia, Mr. Ramser was actively involved in numerous civic and philanthropic endeavors. When Athens Country Club froze its membership in 1978, Mr. Ramser posed the question, "where would business leaders looking to move their industries to the Athens area recreate?" Seeing a need, Mr. Ramser gathered a group of community leaders to form Jennings Mill Associates in 1979 who put together Jennings Mill Country Club. Out of this was also formed J. M. Athens who built Jennings Mill, a 640 acre residential country club community and the first planned unit development in Athens-Clarke and Oconee County. Since 1985 he has partnered with and mentored the founders and partners of Select Trees, Bogart, GA, a wholesaler of large sustainable shade trees to landscape architects, developers, contractors, government institutions and commercial enterprises. Mr. Ramser was instrumental in encouraging the Select Trees Group to establish the Select Sustainable Plus Tree Trust which has donated thousands of sustainable trees to nonprofits, municipalities, and community organizations. Mr. Ramser was member of Athens Christian Church for 40 years and served as an elder there and at Christian Church of Milford, Milford, IN. For more than 25 years, he served on the Board of Directors of Atlanta Christian College; Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia; and The Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was a Director of the National Bank of Athens; Trust Company Bank of North East Georgia; SunTrust Bank; the Southeastern Poultry Association; Chickmaster Incubator Company; the Poultry Manufacturer's Council; Highlands Golf Limited; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. He was a member of Jennings Mill Country Club and at one time held memberships to Athens Country Club, Athens, GA; Highlands Country Club, Highlands, NC and Wildcat Cliffs, Cashiers, NC. Mr. Ramser was recipient of the Salvation Army's "Other's Award" in 1985 and a lifetime member of their Advisory Board. He was honored by the alumni of Alliance High School with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992. Atlanta Christian College bestowed upon him the Founder's Award in 1997 and Standard Publishing and Milligan College recognized Mr. Ramser with the Leaders in Christian Service Award in 2003. Visitation will be held at Lord & Stephens West, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Rd., Bogart, Georgia from 5PM - 7 PM on Saturday, September 18, 2010. Funeral services will take place at Athens Christian Church, 1200 Forest Heights Drive, Athens, Georgia, at 4PM on Sunday, September 19, 2010. A second funeral will be held in Alliance, Ohio at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home on September 22 with visitation at 1:00PM and funeral at 2:00 PM. Burial will follow in the Alliance City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Forrest L. & Helen M. Ramser Scholarship, Atlanta Christian College, 2605 Ben Hill Rd., East Point, Georgia, 30344 or Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia, 795 Newton Bridge Rd., Athens, Georgia, 30607. "God is great! God loves you and so do I"
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sept. 17, 2010
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