Cover photo for Donald Warren Ramsey's Obituary
Donald Warren Ramsey Profile Photo
1935 Donald 2020

Donald Warren Ramsey

April 11, 1935 — December 8, 2020

Donald Warren Ramsey 85 passed away December 8, 2020 at Oak Crossing Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes, MN with his sons by his side. Visitation open to all will be from 1:00 - 2:00 followed by a private family service at 2:00 on Tuesday, December 15 at West Kjos Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Audubon Cemetery the Honor Guard will be in attendance. Service will be livestreamed on the West-Kjos website. Born April 11, 1935, in Audubon, MN to Melvin and Myrtle Ramsey, Don’s early years were spent on a farm south of Audubon. Learning from Melvin, Don and his father built homes together from the ground up. Don was the definition of a jack of all trades. In his 20’s the family moved and Don took an apprenticeship with Spelman’s Carpet, in Los Angeles, CA learning a skill he passed down to many including his sons, father, and brothers. After moving back to the Lakes area Don met and married his wife of 56 years, Judith Ramsey. In the 1970’s he opened Ramsey Bros. Carpet and worked through the years with sons Steve and Brian. He was also especially close to his brother Dave, they spent most mornings drinking coffee together and sharing stories before work. While in LA, Don enlisted in the Army and, because of his skill with a rifle, earned the level of Sharpshooter; one level below Expert. Don had a top secret clearance working as a clerk and operated radio communications (ironic considering he was deaf in one ear). Stationed in Germany, he was able to see Venice, Pompeii, and many other amazing places. His many stories included one time when he and an Army buddy were told to peel potatoes for dinner, enough to feed 500 men. Rather than peel a mountain of potatoes, they tossed them into a large machine that was only intended to take the eyes off the potatoes. It ran until all of the peels were gone and the potatoes were the size of golf balls. Along with work Don also loved hunting and fishing. He fished his way from the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota to Homer, Alaska catching everything from sunfish to halibut. He enjoyed hunting and spent almost every deer season at the family cabin near Itasca; first the small cabin built by Melvin, and then later the multilevel log cabin Don built with many of his family. He hunted antelope in Wyoming and various birds and small game throughout Minnesota. Don loved his family and repeatedly talked about the importance of family above all other things. He lived that truth. No more was this evident than during the Great Blizzard of 1975. Earlier that day, Don and Judie had gone to a baby shower. When snow began to fall, they realized they needed to get home. They could never have known how bad it would get. Soon, the roads were buried under many feet of snow and the snow was too heavy to drive any further. Don got a shovel from the trunk, and, mile by mile, carved a path home, by hand. Don was an amazing presence and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him. Don is survived by his wife, Judith Ramsey, his children: Steve (Katie) Ramsey, Brenda Beaudet, Melissa (Ed) Jackson, Tanya Ramsey, Brian (Kim) Ramsey, 16 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, his siblings: Marlan, Darrell, Ruth Hovland, Nadine Pickthorn, Marilyn Watson, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Don is preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Myrtle Ramsey, and his brothers, James Ramsey and David Ramsey.
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