On Sunday, July 30, Mary Wilkes Ramsey, 94, of Humboldt, Tenn. gained her heavenly wings and is flying high with her beloved butterflies.
Born to the late Mary Lou Landrum Wilkes and Edgar Wilkes in Rutherford Tenn., she graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 1941 from Rutherford High School.
After becoming a Christian at age 13 and joining the Rutherford Baptist Church, she continually pursued her love of reading the Bible. Her love of Christ continued into her adult years when she moved her membership to First Baptist Church in Humboldt in 1945, where it remained for over 72 years. During most of those years, she felt called to minister to young adult ladies and taught many of their Rainbow Sunday School classes. Many years after, she still claimed these ladies as dear “young” friends. Additionally, she served on many committees with the church especially to assist members in need or to help those less fortunate. The number of people that she personally helped “silently” will never be known, but it was her passion to give a little of her “extra” to those who might need it more.
In August 1941, she married Jack Ramsey of Yorkville, Tenn. and they started their married life as South Central Bell telephone company employees. Her telephone company career was cut short as she soon had to follow him around the country for training as he was drafted into World War II. As she watched Jack’s troops’ ship leave New York Harbor from the top of the Empire State Building, her desire and dreams to travel began.
Once Jack returned from the war, they spent the next number of years moving from town to town around West Tennessee to convert operator phones to rotary dial phone for South Central Bell. Once they settled in Humboldt in the late 1950s, Mrs. Ramsey opened Ramsey’s Used Clothing store in the area of Humboldt known as “The Crossing”. After her daughter was born a few years later, she opted to become a stay-at-home mom for the next six years. In the early 1970s she became the first female realtor in Gibson County. She and Jack soon bought their first RV and visited Tennessee State Parks on the weekends and travelled around the country for several weeks with their daughter every summer on a mission to visit every state in the US. After spending almost 15 years in real estate and her husband spending 45 years in his career with the telephone company, they both retired and hit the road in their RV. The next 28 years were spent living in Florida in the winter, traveling abroad, participating in Good Sam Club and Telephone Pioneer outings across the nation, and RVing from coast to coast across the US and Canada many times while gaining great new friends along the way.
To sum up the life of Mary Ramsey in her family’s words, “The Lord has blessed me and mine way beyond expectations—I would not tear out any page of my life even if I could. Everything has made me stronger and able to go thru the valleys of life to reach the mountaintop. I lived a good life with my husband of over 75 years and found so much joy in my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and the many friends we made across the US and Canada over the years. God is good.”
“Butterflies don’t count months….but moments!”
Mrs. Ramsey leaves her husband of 75 years, Jack Ramsey Sr.; her daughter, Suzanne Ramsey Allison (Chris); son, Jack Ramsey Jr. (Jimmye Nan); grandchildren, Rob Ramsey (Angi), Alicia Harrison (Jonathan) and Ashlee Allison; five great-grandchildren, Ramsey, Reece, Everly, Wade and J.T.; and also leaves a friend and caregiver whom she loved as a daughter, Beth Haltom.
She was preceded in death by two great-grandchildren, her heavenly angels Evie Grace Harrison and Catherine Grace Harrison.
Services were held at First Baptist Church Humboldt on Sunday, August 6 at 3 p.m. Visitation was prior to service from 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. at the church.
Shelton-Hunt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.