John Wayne Ramsey, age 76, who had a passion for photography, auctions, military vehicles, and horses, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at Carrus Hospital in Sherman. A memorial service celebrating and honoring his life will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 301 S. Pecan, Bells, Texas. Rev. Wally Butts of the First United Methodist Church will officiate, and the Bells Masonic Lodge will conduct Masonic Burial Ceremonies along with Military Honors at Rose Hill Cemetery in Bells, immediately following the service. Family night will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019 at Mullican Little Funeral Home, in Bells.
John was born to Wayne and Fairy Dunn-Ramsey on May 12, 1942, in Bells, Texas. He married Linda Sue Cummings and to that union was born their children, Jason Wayne Ramsey, Racquel Renea Ramsey-Hammel and Tiffany Nicole Ramsey-Porter. Later in life on November 20, 1980, he met his significant other, Martha Sutherland and they were inseparable for over 29 years, until Martha’s death in November 2009. Martha had one daughter, Tara Sutherland-Brown and John “adopted” her as one of his own.
He was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church in Bells and served on the Finance Committee. John was a 1960 graduate of Bells High School and during his high school years worked at Ashburn’s Ice Cream and gained the nickname, “The Big Dipper” along with his younger brother, Billy who was called “The Little Dipper”. He attended Texas A&M University from 1960-1961 and was a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. In 1964, he joined the United States Army and served until 1966, receiving an honorable medical discharge. In 1967, he attended East Texas State University. John worked in the insurance industry and was an agent with Farm Bureau in Fannin County and later owned his own insurance business in Bells. In 1983, John made the decision to run for public office after the current Tax Assessor, Ruth Wiley had passed away while in office. He was elected to serve and was immediately sworn in to start his first term. He was one of the last Democratic candidates to hold office in Grayson County for 28 years and was re-elected for six consecutive terms and retired in December 2012. Usually once a year on a cold day you could count on John bringing all the fixins’ to make chili for his employees. He also made a point to invite the other departments in the courthouse to stop by and enjoy some as well.
John was involved in numerous organizations over the years and volunteered many hours helping others. He was a long-time member of the Bells Masonic Lodge and served as Past Master. He was currently serving as District Deputy Grand Master which was an appointment he received from the Grand Masonic Lodge. John was an active Hella Shriner and a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was the current President as well as Past President of the Sherman Noon Lions Club, with 27 years of active participation and Past President of the Bells Lions Club. He served as Past President of the State Tax Assessor Collectors Association and received the TACA Distinguished Service Award as well as Tax Assessor Collector of the year in 1992. After retiring from Grayson County John continued to be the event photographer at their annual meetings. He served on the Grayson County Sesquicentennial Committee. He was the current Treasurer of the Grayson County Historical Commission and President of the Grayson County Historical Society, and was current member of the Bells City Council. John enjoyed spending time as a Ham Radio Operator and was active with the Grayson County Amateur Radio Club. He had a love for military vehicles and owned several of them and you would usually see him driving one of them in local parades or at an event displaying them around town. John would put out flags at local cemeteries on Memorial Day, July 4th and Veteran’s Day to remember and honor those who served our country. John was an 11-year member of the Red River Valley Military Vehicle Preservation Association, a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association and a member of the Old Settlers Association of Grayson County. He was an active member of the Grayson County Democratic Party and stayed true to his political party even as Grayson County shifted to a Republican party leadership.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Fairy Ramsey. He is survived by one brother, Billy Ramsey and wife, Ilaine of Sherman as well as his children, Jason Ramsey and wife, Angela of Maypearl, Texas; Racquel Hammel and husband, Tadd of Grapevine, Texas; Nicole Porter and husband, Kirk of Keller, Texas; and Tara Brown and husband, James of Frisco, Texas. Grandchildren are Sierrah Garcia, Abigail Ramsey, Jedidah Wayne Ramsey, John Michel Ramsey, Michael Wilkins, Kaleb Porter, Luke Porter, Levi Porter, Tanner Wall, Janson Wall, Madeline Brown, Kariana Brown and Sophia Brown. John is also survived by four great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
If desired, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Bells, P.O. Box 155, Bells, Texas 75414, the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, 2222 Welborn Street, Dallas, TX 75219, or Shriners Children’s Hospital (www.shrinershospitalforchildren.org).
We are both sorry to hear of John’s death. We knew him from the Grayson County Historical Society. A very affable man. Gerard spoke with him frequency about dog obedience training. He will be very much missed at our meetings. He is with the Lord and pain free.
What a wonderful man he was. His smile was contagious! Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time.
So so sorry! Condolences to the family. As a Brother Scottish Rite Mason there’s nothing left to say but So Mote It Be. Mr. & Mrs. Lee Hersey.
We grieve for the loss of a friend. I met John through our lodge connection many years ago. He will truly be missed in all that he did. We will pray for his family. Anna and Bruce Virgin
We have lost a wonderful friend. He will be greatly missed.
Sorry for your loss prayers and God Bless!
John was a great friend and Masonic brother for many years. I really appreciated his friendship. My deepest sympathy to all the family.
John has been a friend for the past 18 years, but I have known him longer. John had a servant’s heart and he was almost always looking to help other people.
Your family has meant so much to us for more than four generations. You all hold a special place in our hearts. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Wayne Abbott Family
On behalf of the American Legion West Tawakoni Post #517 “Family”
and myself, we extend our heartfelt sympathy during this time of
sorrow. I personally felt privileged to have met Mr. Ramsey and
thank him for his service to our Country.
John Wayne Ramsey…Godspeed ye good and faithful servant…we choose to believe you are now with your beloved Martha. We are saddened that you aren’t here with us, but we know where you are and, we are glad for that. You are loved by many, John….you are irreplaceable, that’s a given…we all, who knew and loved you, were blessed that you were here with us for as long as you were. We will go on but you etched your name on our hearts long ago so you will always live in our spirits. We love you, John, then and now, and until it is our time. It has been an honor and a privilege to call you “friend”. John Ramsey…son, brother, husband, father, uncle, Veteran, Insurance Agent, Tax-Assessor, Civic Leader Extraordinare, Soulmate, Adopted father, Civic leader, Mason, Shriner, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, friend…..a life well lived from beginning to end.
Rest In Peace
I knew John for many years, he will definitely be missed. John was a wealth of information about our county, his family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, David Hall – Sherman
Thank you for your service and friendship, now Rest In Peace my Brother
John was a good man, a good Mason and a good friend.
I will miss him.
My husband was a friend of JohnWayne’s and Billy’s throughout their school years. I along with my siblings are cousins of the Ramseys, but consider them lifelong friends as well. John Wayne could be relied on to attend every funeral of every family member throughout our parents’ lives and my brothers and sisters lives. He was a faithful family member and frien. My husband and l sincerely regret not being able to attend the services for John Wayne and we send our deepest condolences to his immediate family.
So sorry to hear about John Wayne. He will be missed . The family is in our prayers.
I am so sorry to hear of John’s death. I knew him for 3 short months, started working at Bell’s Market 3 months ago, part of the “coffee club”. He will be missed. Sending prayers and hugs to friends and family.
Nicole, I am so sorry for the loss of you’re precious Dad. I will be keeping you in my prayers, God Bless…
John Wayne was very special to many people. He always made your day a little better. I grew up knowing him and feel very blessed to have had him in my life. He loved his family and enjoyed talking about them. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
May you Rest In Peace our long time friend. God needed a special angel. We will miss you very much.
Thankful for John’s work and encouragement in the Masonic bodies of this area. Rest in peace in that celestial lodge above.
Rest in Peace Lion John. Thanks for your service to Texas Sherman Noon Lions Club as well as the Texas District 2-E2 Lions.
So sorry to hear of John’s passing. My husband Andy Anderson was a close friend of his, and he passed away one year ago. We knew John well, and he was a wonderful person.
Our condolences to Raquel and family for their loss.
Your time here has come to an end. Now you are in the presence of our Lord and flying with the angels! We will miss you but what a glorious day it is for you.
He was a life long friend & will be greatly missed by many. His mom was a special friend along with brother Billy. Thoughts, prayers & blessings for all the family.
You will be missed my condolences to your family
John will be missed by everyone that knew him. I will miss seeing him and visiting with him I got to know John during my days working for Bells ISD. Always enjoyed our visits. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends
I respected John as much as anyone I knew who worked in service of Grayson County. He was a diligent public servant and was great company on any and all occasions. May God bless his soul.
I didn’t know John as long as my Mother-in-law Helen Abbot did, but the conversations I had with him convinced me that he was a sincere person and had a tinder heart. He will be sincerely missed.
Kenny and Sharon Washburn
Many prayers for all the family. John Wayne has been a good friend for many many years. Will miss him for sure. Love to all
Sending my warmest and most sincerest condolences. Blessings and prayers for the family. Rest in Peace my friend.