Sgt. Jacqy “Jack” Ray Ramsey, 71, fought with faith until God called him home, with family surrounding him at his Gloucester home on Jan. 6, 2019.
Jack was an active member of Highway To Heaven Biker Church and Gen. Anthony Wayne DAV Chapter 58 where he was instrumental in getting the military flag display constructed. He attended Middlebrook Church of God when he was at his mountain home. He often rode with the Christian Motorcycle Association, helped the Properties Committee at Newington Baptist Church, and the Bread for Life food program.
Jack was a very humble man, never wanting recognition for anything he did. He was the most generous person always asking “what do you need” or “what can I help you with?” He was an inventor, always tinkering with his “potential.” There was nothing he couldn’t work on, fix or build. He started a small business “JOAT,” Jack of All Trades, which fit him perfectly. He built outside wood-fired boilers, a huge log splitter that would split wood into multiple pieces, and transformed vehicles into “bigger, better and more powerful,” a true “visionary.” An excerpt from Chip Gaines book “Capital Gaines,” explained Jack’s work ethic to a tee with the job descriptions changed to fit his life. “I have spent summers pounding pavement, building part of I-81 in Lexington, Virginia. I worked on a farm mucking out stalls, bailing hay and feeding livestock twice a day. I’ve trimmed trees and mowed acres of grass from dawn to dusk in the blazing, hot sun. I worked at a gas station even though my dad did not want me to because he was afraid I might get robbed. I’ve built retaining walls from nothing that held up entire hillsides and constructed new homes from scratch. I have come home at the end of the day weighing less than when I left in the morning, just from copious amounts of water weight I’d lost through sweating. Perspiration and aching muscles don’t bother me a bit. In fact, if I haven’t worn myself out by the end of the day, if I don’t come home with bruises and scratches, then I don’t feel right. I feel unsettled, like I’ve shorted myself somehow. But when I’ve physically worked hard, it feels like a day well spent, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”
After graduating from Wilson Memorial High School, Staunton, Virginia, which is where he grew up, he joined the Air Force, stationed at Langley, where he became a pneudraulics specialist, working on C-130s. He served in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange. He was a humble veteran proud to serve his country. He was awarded, by Congressman Rob Wittman, a Congressional recognition in 2016 for being the person responsible for fixing a failed landing gear while the plane was in flight transporting soldiers, and saving the plane and its passengers. After four years in the military he worked for IBM and retired after 30 years, then worked his handyman jobs.
He touched many lives with his faith, determination, and attitude with cancer and still continued to ask all his friends “what can I do for you?” and “do you need anything?”
He told his 17 grandchildren often to always THINK, and “Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.” He held them in his arms tight until they would say “Uncle Pretty Please” and then he said, “just sit down and let me watch you grow.” He built them a go-kart track and always had something they could drive or ride around in.
He was preceded in death by his parents, C.L and Pauline Ramsey, and brothers, James Leslie Ramsey and Jerry Coleman Ramsey.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Arlene; four daughters and sons-in-law, Amy Manuel (Clint), Emilee Haskins (Michael), Jackie Sherer (Jamie) and Bridget Sibley (Chris); 17 grandchildren, Miranda Updegraft (Fred); Chandler, Coleman, Conner, Cymon and Merritt Manuel; Nathanael, Samuel, Emma, Meredith, Eli and Benjamin Haskins; Zachary, Moriah and Xander Sherer, and Logan and Raegan Sibley; great-grandson, Emmett Updegraft; two brothers, Danny Ramsey (Linda) of Verona, Virginia, and Michael Ramsey of Mobjack.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all his prayer warriors, the amazing doctors and nurses at VA Oncology, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, and Riverside Hospice for the wonderful care over the last six years.
Visitation will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Newington Baptist Church, Gloucester, followed by a Celebration of Life service and burial.
Thank you to Andrews Funeral Home, Gloucester, for handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to General Anthony Wayne DAV Chapter 58, in memory of Jack Ramsey, 6265 Professional Drive, Gloucester, Va. 23061.