Dr. Thomas Ramsey, resident of St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, Mississippi, passed away on August 13, 2020 at age 90 due to complications from COVID-19.
Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1929, Tom spent most of his professional life on Long Island, New York in music education, first as a teacher and subsequently as Director of Music Education for the Sachem School District. He held a Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Throughout his professional life, he was active as a performer, playing trombone in community orchestras on Long Island and singing with the Long Island Symphonic Chorus. Discontinuing performing in community orchestras, he organized and conducted a professional concert band which he conducted before resigning that position after nine years. He continued to be active vocally by singing in church choirs and subsequently became conductor of a church choir and continued singing with the Symphonic Chorus until his retirement.
During his career in music education, he was a member of and held numerous offices in professional associations and published several articles in professional journals.
Upon retiring in 1987, he and his wife Joanne moved to Evergreen, Colorado where they both sang for several years with the Colorado Symphony Chorus in Denver and co-conducted the choir at the Church of the Transfiguration (Episcopal) in Evergreen. Upon the death of Joanne in 2002, he moved to Ajijic, Mexico. He sang there for a brief period with the Cantantes Del Lago and St. Andrews Anglican Church choir.
Dr. Ramsey was an active member of the Writers’ Group in Ajijic and had numerous articles published in “El Ojo Del Lago” and “Lake Chapala Review,” monthly English language magazines in the community.
During his professional years he published a textbook “Handbook for Elementary Music Teachers.” In 2006 he released a Spanish/English dual language book entitled “Rumiaciones/Ruminations,” a collection of essays, short stories and diaries.
Following his move to St. Catherine’s he published his first novel, It Takes A While. Using his life experiences as an outline, he created a novel dealing with the life of a young man moving through his career and ultimate retirement to a continuing care retirement community. He subsequently completed two more novels, Mississipi Has Four Seasons and Things Are Not Always What They Seem.
Tom loved the Spanish language as well as the people of Mexico. In commenting on his decision to move to Mexico, he said to friends and family, “All my life I have been told Shangri La does not exist. Well, guess what? I have found it.”
Tom was married to Joanne DuBois of New Paltz, New York, the mother of his three children, for 48 years. After her death, he married Marianna Levenhagen, a Swiss citizen living in Ajijic. Following her death, he moved to St. Catherine’s where he met and married Frances Peacock, a native of Koscuisko, Mississipi. They found a renewed lease on life together and enjoyed traveling on frequent road trips around Mississippi and neighboring states. The also pursued their love of the arts and literature venues available in Jackson and Vicksburg. They particularly loved symphony and theatre performances.
Tom was grateful for the loving care he received from the staff of St. Catherine’s Village.
Tom is survived by his wife Frances Peacock Ramsey and his three children, Susan Ramsey, Paul Ramsey and his wife Kimberly, and Philip Ramsey and his wife Debra, as well as eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. In addition, he is survived by three step children, Laura Hefner and her husband Bob, Jennifer Boitnott and her husband Chris, and daughter Pamela Thrasher, as well as seven step grandchildren.
Tom was preceded in death by his former wife, Joanne DuBois, father Judge Wallace Whitson Ramsey, mother Elsie Ramsey, sister Marjorie Branan, and brothers James Ramsey and William Ramsey.
Donations in his memory may be made to “The Dominican Fund” at St. Catherine’s Village. 601-200-6910 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Services will be held in the spring in Evergreen, Colorado.