FARMINGTON — Jeanne (“DeeDee”) Ramsey, 97, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Edgewood Rehab and Living Center in Farmington, with loving family by her side.
DeeDee was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 22, 1920, the youngest of three daughters born to Gertrude Sophie (Huber) and Jean Frederick Weir. DeeDee spent most of her growing up and school years in Erie, Pa., where she graduated from Strong Vincent H.S. and went on to earn a B.S. in commercial education at Mercyhurst College in 1941. She worked in Erie as a secretary for two different companies and then as a caseworker for the American Red Cross. In Erie, she met Wellington (“Duke”) Ramsey on a blind date, fell in love and went on to marry him on April 24, 1948. After marrying, they moved to suburban Philadelphia (where Duke grew up) and DeeDee became a full-time homemaker and mother of three children.
In Haverford, Pa., she had a busy social life with dinner parties, bridge club, Friday night badminton and monthly trips to the Philadelphia Orchestra. She was an active member in Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, involved in Christian education, the choir and other activities. In 1963 she returned to her career as a secretary, at Bryn Mawr College, until 1975.
In March, 1976 DeeDee and Duke escaped the “rat race” of suburban Philadelphia and moved to New Sharon — a move she referred to as “nuts or guts.” For three years, they truck-farmed vegetables before establishing Wellspring Farm, an herbal products business. DeeDee was a great saleslady and enjoyed selling their products at gift shops and craft fairs. She also worked as a secretary in the home economics department at UMF from 1977 until she retired in 1989. DeeDee was an active member of Old South Church in Farmington, serving in a variety of ways.
In 1999, DeeDee and Duke sold the farm and moved next door to their son’s family, still in New Sharon. Except for two years in an assisted living facility, she was able to remain at home with family assistance, until an illness in March 2017 necessitated her move to Edgewood Rehab & Living Center.
DeeDee was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother. Family and friends will remember her as a warm, outgoing individual with a great sense of humor. Her love of the outdoors found expression in gardening, hiking, bird-watching and family camping trips. She also enjoyed music and singing, doing crafts, cooking gourmet dinners and sewing. DeeDee walked a mile nearly every day, regardless of the weather, and enjoyed remarkably good health for many years.
She was predeceased by her husband of 63 years; a grandson, Christopher Luke Ramsey; and her sisters, Mary Len Runser and Ellen Weir Chamberlin. She is survived by her children, Pamela Ramsey of Union, Phyllis Stitt and husband, Jeff, of Vida, Mont., and Tony Ramsey and wife, Cathy, of New Sharon. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Janis, Jason, Noah, Welly, Emily and Julia; two nieces, Frieda (Runser) Douthitt and Gail (Chamberlin) Salzman and husband, Al; and three nephews, Karl Runser and wife, Mary Kay, John Chamberlin and wife, Marty, and Steven Chamberlin and wife, Gerry; along with six great-nieces and -nephews.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff at Edgewood Center in Farmington for their loving care of DeeDee.
Condolences and tributes may be shared on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.
Jeanne “DeeDee” Ramsey