Mary Ramsey Obituary

Mary Maude Ramsey
Mary Maude Sumner Ramsey
Mary Maude Ramsey

October 10, 1921 - March 7, 2011
Born in Grand Rapids, MI
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Mary Maude Sumner Ramsey, of Longboat Key, Florida, was born on October 10, 1921, in Grand Rapids, MI, and died peacefully on March 7, 2011, in Des Moines, IA, surrounded by her family. Mary spent her early years in Beverly Hills, California and Kansas City, Missouri, where she met and married J.D. Ramsey, her devoted husband of 66 years. Together Mary and J.D. raised three children: John S. (Lenny) Ramsey of Des Moines, Deborah (John) Wilson of Seattle, WA and Kathryn (Tom) Carey of Des Moines. In addition to her immediate family, Mary is survived by six grandchildren: Elizabeth (Bradley) Day of New York City, NY, Sarah (Matt) Kaenel of San Diego, CA, Katherine Wilson and Connor Wilson both of Seattle, Christine Carey of Des Moines and Dharamshala, India, and Ramsey Carey of Los Angeles, CA; and three great-grandchildren. Mary's remarkable strength of character made her the center of her extended family. Her agile wit and compassion for all people and animals endeared her to all who were blessed to have known her.

Mary was a woman of grace and dignity who shared her passion for music with her family, friends and the congregations of churches in Des Moines and Sarasota, Florida. Mary was a classical pianist and an accomplished soprano soloist. She performed at Plymouth Congregational and Central Presbyterian Churches of Des Moines and the Christ Church of Longboat Key, FL, and in private recitals for family, friends and the music clubs, Treble Clef and Fortnightly. A member of the Junior League, she conducted the J.L. Chorus for several years. Mary was also a patron of the Des Moines Metro Opera and the Simpson College Department of Music.

Mary's other interests included tennis, sailing, reading and solving NY Times crossword puzzles. Mary and J.D. spent many summers sailing on the waters of Cass Lake in northern Minnesota and on Sarasota Bay and the Florida Gulf intercoastal waterways. Together with J.D., family, and friends, Mary traveled extensively and was always eager to experience new people and cultures.

A memorial service celebrating Mary's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines, followed by a reception at the Wakonda Club.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that any memorial contributions be made to either: Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 N.E. 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50265; or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave, 7th fl., New York, NY 10001 in memory of Mary Ramsey.

"Click here to view memorial folder"





Celebration of Her Life
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Saturday, March 19, 2011
2:00 PM
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Plymouth Memorial Gardens
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Saturday, March 19, 2011


Alzheimer's Foundation of America
322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY US 10001