Memorials · Parkinson's Resource Organization

The Memorial Wall

Mac Horton

Mac Horton

April 23, 1941 - December 4, 2020

The longtime Englewood resident died on Dec. 4 at age 79. In recent years, he developed a form of Parkinson’s Disease and was being cared for in an assisted living facility, where he contracted COVID-19, said Esther Horton, his wife of 51 years.

Horton served on the Englewood Water District board, was on the Charlotte County School Board for 12 years, was a county commissioner for eight years and ended his career in 2008 as Charlotte’s supervisor of elections.

The Mac Horton West County Annex opened last December on San Casa Drive in Englewood. The Winchester Boulevard extension, a 3-mile-long, four-lane road that connects Placida residents with River Road, was named in honor of Horton when it opened in 2015. 

He was the first to drive on the road, and news photos show him tooling down Winchester Boulevard as a passenger in a white Jeep. 

“It makes me feel like I may be important, and that I did something important,” Horton said during the dedication ceremony covered by the Herald-Tribune. “It’s amazing to me what can be done when citizens and elected officials get together for a common cause.”

He worked with Sarasota County Commissioner Shannon Staub to complete the long-awaited $17.4 million hurricane evacuation route that serves residents of both counties. 

“Shannon and Mac were a team when it came to Englewood,” Esther Horton said. 

Staub said the two first met while campaigning for their first terms in 1996 and vowed to work together. Most of their efforts centered on Englewood, the Gulf-front community that straddles the county line and often gets neglected by both counties.

Intercounty cooperation on the Winchester Boulevard project was unprecedented, because the land was in Sarasota County, but Horton persuaded fellow Charlotte commissioners to spend the money to finish the badly needed hurricane evacuation route that connects the Placida area to River Road and Interstate 75. 

“It worked out beautifully,” Staub said. “We set the tone to help bring the two counties together to look at things as a region, not just as two counties separately. We worked as a unit together for Englewood but also for the two counties.”

She said she will miss her old friend and still treasures a photo of the two dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus at an Englewood holiday function. 

“He was a wonderful person. He stood for what he believed in,” Staub said. “He had the interests of both counties in mind to do the right thing. You can’t beat that.”

Esther and Mac met when he was working at an Englewood grocery store owned by her father, L.A. Ainger. Tributes have been pouring in from friends and colleagues since last week.

“He will be remembered as a nice person and a decent human being,” she said. “I can tell you that although he spent a lot of years in the field of politics, it was never about politics for him. It was about getting a job done right. He was there to serve and he was serious about serving, and he tried to do what he felt was the best thing for the county and the citizens. He made himself available anytime. He always did it with a smile on his face.”

Former Charlotte County Commissioner Adam Cummings said Horton’s legacy was as a consensus builder who worked across county and district lines to get things done.

“Mac was all about legacy,” Cummings said. “If he had two defining traits, it would be legacy and consensus. He wanted to bring people together.”

Horton often wore bright red suspenders to commission meetings and sported an amiable Southern gentleman demeanor to go along with his silver hair and beard. 

“He had a tendency to ‘aw shucks’ you,” Cummings said, adding that his friend and mentor had a keen mind and a devotion to building “bricks and sticks” to leave a tangible government record behind. “He was a very sharp guy. He was very intelligent, grasping nuances that not many of us do. He was a caring public servant and my friend, colleague and mentor.”

Retired Herald-Tribune columnist and longtime Englewood resident Eric Ernst said Horton’s “good-old-boy” demeanor often put people at ease.

“Mac was a true original in local politics,” Ernst wrote in an email. “One minute he’d talk about issuing sanitary sewer bonds; the next, he’d offer a tip for boiling peanuts (‘Always the green ones, Eric.’). 

“Of the many local elected offices he held, Mac may have done his best work on the Charlotte County Commission. At meetings, he'd often have a folksy expression to put people at ease in the midst of controversy. Whether you were a constituent, a journalist or a peer on the dais, Mac had a way of making you feel special, as if your opinion really mattered.”

When he was the county’s supervisor of elections, he led an effort to save the historic Charlotte courthouse, which was built in 1928 in Punta Gorda. At the time, it was an unpopular cause, but Horton’s respect for history spurred him to lead efforts to save the yellow-brick building that had fallen into disrepair.

Horton moved his supervisor of elections office into the building, only to lose a reelection bid in 2008.

Mac V. Horton was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, on April 23, 1941. Arrangements are being handled by Lemon Bay Funeral Home & Cremation Services. A memorial service and celebration of Horton’s life will be held later, “when it’s safe to gather,” Esther said.

Reprinted from the Herald Tribune

Remembering Mac Horton

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Dawn D. Heath

Dawn D. Heath

January 12, 1942 - December 2, 2020

Dawn Heath, 78, of East Homer passed away peacefully at home on November 30 after a year of declining health. She was born January 12, 1942 in Cortland NY, the daughter of the late Leon and Lillian Dawson.

Dawn was a lifelong resident of the area, raised and educated locally. She had been employed with Agway, Tractor Supply Co., and worked the family farm. She held memberships at the East Homer and Truxton Methodist Church’s.

She was a very kind-hearted person who always enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Dawn was an outstanding cook and her baked-beans and desserts were often requested at family gatherings and local celebrations.

She is survived by her husband James Heath, her children Charlene (Terry Horner) Ryan, Brian (Laurie) Heath, and Michele (Joe Ditaranto) Heath, and brother Gary (Rita) Dawson. She cherished her grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great grandchildren, and cousins.

Dawn requested to be cremated and a celebration of life will be announced at a later time.

Remembering Dawn D. Heath

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Mary C. Talmadge

Mary C. Talmadge

November 5, 1938 - November 30, 2020

Mary Talmadge passed away on November 30th, 2020 from Advanced Parkinson's disease, in Anthem Arizona where she had been living since 2018. Mary's passion was singing and dancing for the PDG Entertainers Group annually in Palm Desert Greens Country Club, Palm Desert, CA. She will be dearly missed by family and friends.

Remembering Mary C. Talmadge

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

John Michael Miller

John Michael Miller

June 25, 1938 - November 22, 2020

John Michael Miller, 82, of Northridge, California, passed away with his wife, Kay, at his side on November 22, 2020, after a long battle with Parkinsons.

Born June 25, 1938 in Glendale, CA, he was the son of the late Cecil "Mike" and Floy (McHarg) Miller. He is survived by his wife, Kay; daughter Kathryn Sottile and her husband Brian of Thousand Oaks, CA; daughter Kristina Miller of Simi Valley, CA; son Mark Miller and his wife Amanda of Jupiter, FL; and six grandchildren - Sophia, Olivia, and Christopher Sottile of Thousand Oaks, CA, Drew Miller of Simi Valley, CA, and Morgan and Mackenzie Miller of Juptier, FL. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Miller of La Cañada, CA.

John graduated from Glendale High School in 1956, where he was President of the Latin Club and the Typing Club. He also served as Editor of the high school newspaper with aspirations of becoming a journalist. He attended UCLA, graduating in 1960, with a BA in Political Science and minor in English. In 1961, he earned his secondary teaching credential from UCLA. Upon completion of the credential program, he joined the US Army Reserves at Fort Ord.

In 1962, John was hired by LAUSD where he spent his entire career. He began his career at Pacoima Junior High teaching Social Studies, English and Student Council. Right from the start, he fell in love with teaching and getting to know his students. He served as the 9th grade class sponsor and Faculty President. In 1971, John received his Master's in Education from CSUN as well as counseling and administrative credentials through CSUN and Pepperdine. After 7 years of teaching, John became a counselor helping students with their schedules, motivating them to do well in school, and disciplining when needed. In 1976, John became the Head Counselor at Carver Junior High. During his time at Carver, he served as the President of the Head Counselors Organization and as a Representative on the AALA Council. He was then promoted to Assistant Principal at Paul Revere Junior High where he served from 1983-1989, and then he briefly served in the same capacity at LeConte Junior High from 1989-1991. In October of 1991, John became Principal of Markham Middle School where he dedicated the remainder of his career until he retired in June 1997.

While John had many great accomplishments in his schooling and career life, it was his family that he was most proud of. He wrote a short autobiography 15 years ago and even said that he didn't want his obituary to just be a listing of all he did at school and work with the notation in the last paragraph about his family. "Something about priorities I guess." He hopes his children and grandchildren will read his autobiography or perhaps wait for the movie version so long as Brad Pitt plays the title role.

It was at Pacoima where he met the love of his life, Kay, a fellow teacher at the school and who he described as a beautiful blonde. They married and had 3 wonderful children together: Kathryn, Kristina and Mark. Kathryn is a nurse practitioner and married Brian Sottile in 1996. They have 3 children: Sophia (20), Olivia (18), and Christopher (16). Sophia and Olivia both attend TCU in Fort Worth, TX. Christopher is a high school junior. Kristina is a double degree holder from UCLA and works for the university. Her son, Drew (13), is in his final year of middle school. Mark is the Director of Wellness at Jonathan's Landing in Jupiter, FL. He married Amanda in 2013 and they have two daughters, Morgan (4) and Mackenzie (2), who affectionately refer to their grandpa as "Papa John." This family that John created with Kay was his greatest accomplishment. He was very fortunate to be able to retire early and enjoy time to travel, play with his grandkids, read, watch baseball, and work on his family story. He spent hours upon hours researching his family tree, creating scrapbooks filled with ancestry information, and wrote an autobiography.

He was a lifelong Dodgers and horse racing fan. How fitting that the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020! The family all remembers the last time the Dodgers won… it was 1988 and Kirk Gibson hit the homerun in the first game. John jumped out of his chair, threw his arms in the air, and nearly broke his finger and the ceiling fan! He also was a collector of just about everything - baseball cards, autographs, stamps, coins, Department 56 and Disney. John and Kay loved all things Disney so much that they even started a club. They served as co-presidents of Once Upon a Classic for 15 years until passing on the reins to spend more time with their children and grandchildren. John loved going to Disneyland with the grandkids and, when Mark moved to Florida, there was a built in excuse to spend time at DisneyWorld.

John also loved to travel. From his cross country driving trips as a young adult with friends, to the yearly summer family vacations with his wife and children, to bus tours of Europe with Kay, to cruising in his later years with the grandchildren, John loved to see and explore the world. As a history buff, he would spend countless hours researching destinations and planning itineraries. Kay was always sure to help him find the best shopping, and they would consistently come home with more bags than they took. In the last 15 years or so, Maui, Florida, and Disney Cruises were the vacations of choice. All were relaxing, easy to navigate, and fun for the whole family.

John will be greatly missed by all. The family would like to thank his devoted caregivers, Ed and Therace. A private family service and burial will be held at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, CA on December 2, 2020.

Remembering John Michael Miller

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Mary Lee Queen

Mary Lee Queen

March 12, 1949 - November 16, 2020

Palm Springs - Mary Lee Queen, age 71, passed away in her Palm Springs, CA home November 16, 2020, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

For most of Mary's life, she served her community as an esthetician and massage therapist dedicated to helping others feel good. Mary loved to love on others. Not only would she give the shirt off her back she would give her shoes and socks too if she knew it would give help and comfort to another.

Mary enjoyed golfing and her share of entertaining, parties, dancing and a good martini. She often told us that these are the parts of life she missed the most while entering into the final stages of her illness.

Mary leaves behind her beloved daughter Kimberly Allen (Thomas Allen), son Matthew Queen (Micaela Ellison), grandchildren Brittany Trapasso, Michael Trapasso, Ryan Trapasso, great-granddaughter Lisa Trapasso and fiancé Paul O'Connor.

From Kimberly ~ "My mom lit up the room with her smile and goal to have fun. A few things that I have learned and will always strive for is mom instilling in me to enjoy life to the fullest. She wanted her children to remember two things and that is to love with all our hearts and to forgive those we feel hurt by. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been loved by Mary Queen"

From Matthew ~ My mom had a passion for helping others, that drew people to her. She'll forever be eating ice cream, gesturing with a martini, and surrounded by friends."

From Brittany ~ "I could always count on grandma to be playful and silly. She was spontaneous and desired adventure. Despite having Parkinson's, she never showed her age and was forever young at heart. She was a performer and naturally the center of attention with her jokes and stories from her past. She will always be my inspiration to live a fulfilling life, make fun a priority and do what makes me happy."

From Michael ~ "If there is one thing to say about grandma it would be how much of a free spirit she was. One memory I will never forget is when she would take me to Great America for my birthday every year when I was younger. I was so scared to go on my first roller coaster ride and she basically forced me to go despite me not wanting to and also not being tall enough. I now love roller coasters and will always cherish those memories. She will be missed greatly."

From Ryan ~ "Grandma, you will forever be missed. I will always remember the times we had with you at your house when there was "no sleeping allowed". We stayed up making cookies and then crashed every time. You were the most incredible fighter of life, a hard worker and you have had to fight hard long enough. It's time for you to rest in peace and no longer be in pain. I know you will be looking down on all of us. Until we meet again, I love you Grandma."

From Paul ~ "The happiest places for Mary and I were on the golf course and walking the beach. Watching the sunset over the ocean bringing an end to another perfect day with the most perfect person in my life. I will always cherish every moment I had with her".

~ Due to the pandemic restrictions, a memorial service and Celebration of Life will follow when it is safe to gather. Please raise your glass to "Queen Mary" this holiday season and remember what a beautiful woman she was and how much love, light and smiles she brought to our world. In Loving Memory

Remembering Mary Lee Queen

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Lee Redus

Lee Redus

March 24, 1931 - November 15, 2020

Williamston - Lee Roy Redus, 89, husband of the late Edna Ruth Burgess Redus, passed away Sunday, November 15, 2020.

Born in Chandler, OK, he was a son of the late Writy Washington and Della Lee Byus Redus. He was a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, a civil service electrician, and a member of Big Creek Baptist Church.

Survivors include his daughters, Dianne Cabaniss (Eddie) of Williamston, Donna Redus-Neal (John) of Starr, and Tauna Johnson (Randy) of Williamston; sister, Sandi Redus of Austin, TX; brothers, Ronnie Redus (Debbie) of Yukon, OK and Dale Redus of Newalla, OK; grandchildren, Kristin Grant (Eric), Sean Cabaniss (Candace) and Evan Cabaniss, Hannah and Seth Johnson; twelve great-grandchildren, Olivia, Ethan, Mason, and Dawson Cabaniss, Gaige Alexander, Brice, Brantly, and Ridge Grant, Faith, Rylee, and Ian Cabaniss; and sisters-in-law, Bertha Redus of Oklahoma City, OK and Mary Redus of McCloud, OK.

He was predeceased by brothers, Bob and Jerry Redus.

Mr. Redus will lie-in-state from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Tuesday, November 17 at Gray Mortuary.

A cryptside service will be held at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, November 18 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum.

Due to Covid-19, the family requests that masks be worn, and social distancing observed at all services.

Remembering Lee Redus

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

David Spencer Quall

David Spencer Quall

January 26, 1936 - November 12, 2020

Born in Bellingham, David Spencer Quall, 84, died peacefully after a five-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was at home in Mount Vernon as his daughters were reading Psalm 23.

Dave graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1961, which led to 38 years of teaching and counseling. At Mount Vernon High School, he was head coach of Boys' Basketball for 12 years and later led Skagit Valley College Men's Basketball to two championships in the 1980s. He was a State Representative for the 40th district from 1993-2011.

Dave and Allene (Stave) were married on August 29, 1958. Dave, known as "Papa" to his children and grandchildren, is survived by his wife, Allene, of Mount Vernon; two daughters, Kim (Dan) Brown of Sedro Woolley and Kay Quall of Mount Vernon; six grandchildren, Rodger (Hannah) Brown, Marshall (Carey) Brown, Ethan (Carrie) Brown, Miriam Witt, Mary Witt, and Miles Witt; seven great-grandchildren, all with the last name of Brown: Zella, Noah, Calvin, Larry, Alice, Juniper, and Benji; sister Rachel Prigg of Snohomish and brother Dean (Liz) Quall of Seattle; brother-in-law Dave (Alberta) Stave of Gig Harbor, sister-in-law Joyce Stave of Spanaway, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Reverend Arnt and Clara Quall; nine siblings, Velnora McAfee, Alvin Quall, Elda Bettencourt, Florence Tunks, John Quall, Philip Quall, Miriam Baker, Clara Eardley, Joe Quall; and brother-in-law, Doug Stave.

There will be a celebration of life at Mount Vernon Cemetery next Memorial Day weekend. 

Remembering David Spencer Quall

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Samuel Urcis

Samuel Urcis

September 7, 1934 - November 11, 2020

Samuel Urcis showed his science acumen at age ten, when he diagnosed his father’s friend’s flesh wound by viewing skin cells under a microscope.  In Cuba, where his Jewish father and mother had fled from the just turned Communist Soviet Union, Sam skipped several grades while his parents waited three decades to get a visa to the U.S.  


In 1951, a winning lottery ticket allowed the family to finally immigrate to California.  Then sixteen, Sam’s dreams of being a neurosurgeon were dashed, being unable to afford eight more years of school. But with a lifelong resilience, Sam quickly switched his focus to mechanical engineering, with its emphasis on math, accommodating his then limited English.  Washing test tubes at night at Children’s Hospital and doing a stint as a movie extra on weekends, Sam put himself through college, graduating from UCLA as editor of the Engineering School newspaper.  


The space program had just begun and Sam jumped right in, becoming a project manager just two weeks after beginning employment at Ryan Aerolab.  He oversaw an unmanned missile project built for NASA, the first launched from the Pacific Coast and containing the first living organisms ever sent so far into space by the United States.  Its success led to many other management posts, including at Hughes Aircraft and Rockwell International.  During these years Sam developed a taste for fine wine and good food, becoming quite knowledgeable about buying wine futures.  He always generously shared his bottles with friends


 In 1972, Sam conceived the idea of transferring some of the new space technology he was involved in to oil exploration. He co-founded Geosource, an oil services and equipment company, which became a Fortune 500 company eight years later.  Sam’s management style, to lead by example, was subtle but effective – when he wanted the other executives under him to curtail their high travel costs, he merely booked himself into a coach seat on a flight where they were flying first class.  He was seen by them and the result was exactly what he’d hoped for.  


Years of non-stop international travel negotiating deals and overseeing operations made Sam yearn for a quieter time and place.  When the CEO of  Geosource, Patrick Loughnane, died and Sam was asked to step into his shoes, he opted instead to leave the industry and retire to Carmel, California, where he’d honeymooned with his first wife.  There, Sam became friends with Wally Davis, one of the founders of Silicon Valley.  Together, they formed a new venture capital firm.


Alpha Partners began in 1982 with two other executives joining them shortly thereafter.  The focus of the firm was seed financing for start-up companies.  Alpha Partners eventually provided seed and later-stage financing for more than 45 technology companies.  During several years in venture capital, Sam also served as a trustee of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  


After all the general partners retired from Alpha, Sam partnered with Castle Harlan, Inc., an original investor in Geosource, to consult in the energy sector.  Despite all these accomplishments, Sam is remembered mostly for his sweet nature and humble disposition.  His thoughtfulness and generosity touched everyone in his life.  “He never said a bad word about anyone” his good friend Ben remembers.  Eventually, Sam retired, enjoying a life of travel, the arts and philanthropy with his second wife, Marion Zola, a writer. They split their time between Carmel and Beverly Hills, where Sam died from Parkinson’s’ at home November 11th with his wife and dog by his side.  He is survived by his brother, Ruben, his two sisters, Julie and Berta, and numerous nephews and nieces.  

Remembering Samuel Urcis

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Salvatore "Sal" Ronci

Salvatore "Sal" Ronci

January 19, 1937 - November 9, 2020

Salvatore “Sal” Ronci, a musician and educator beloved to family, friends, students, and audiences in the Miami and Daytona Beach areas died November 9, 2020, of complications from COVID-19 and Parkinson’s Disease. He was 83. Born Salvatore Ronciglione in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 19, 1937, to Italian immigrant Giuseppe Ronciglione (Joseph Ronci) and first-generation Italian-American Rose Aveni. Infant Sal moved with his family to New Haven, Connecticut, after his family home burned in a fire. He attended Ezekiel Cheever Grammar School and Wilbur Cross High School, where he discovered a gift and love for music, later studying trumpet with Boston Symphony Orchestra great, Armando Ghitalla while attending the prestigious Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. His family moved to Florida in 1956, Sal transferring to the University of Miami in Coral Gables where he performed, arranged, recorded, and toured with The Coralairs, a five-man vocal group primarily of fellow UM students. The group enjoyed a local top-10 hit with “A Lover is A Fool,” introduced the now-classic Christmas song “Buona Natale” to a national audience, and headlined Havana’s Sans Souci nightclub on the eve of the Cuban revolution before disbanding in 1959. Sal later returned to UM to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education.

While at UM, Sal met Judith “Judy” Cantor. The two married in 1958, settled in Miami, reared three children and launched successful careers as public-school teachers, Sal continuing to book gigs as a trumpet and electric-bass player, singer, and bandleader. As a licensed realtor he worked hard to help secure a comfortable retirement for himself and Judy. After 30 years as one of the Miami-Dade school district’s top music teachers (with notable stints at Kinloch Park Jr. High, Palmetto Sr. High, and Glades Middle, among other schools), Sal retired with Judy to Ormond Beach, Florida, where his parents and sisters lived and where he launched a successful second act as leader of the Sal Ronci Big Band, known for its popular series of performances at the Daytona Beach Bandshell. Sal was especially proud to share his love of jazz through “The Story of Jazz,” a live in-school education program he created and presented for students of Volusia County Public Schools.

In addition to Judy, his wife of 62 years, Sal’s survivors include daughter Julie Sipes (Ken) and son Michael Ronci of Ormond Beach and son Jeff Ronci (Juan Bosco Talavera) of Miami; sisters Loretta Tuttle Santiago (Efrain) of Edgewater, Florida, and Marie Richardson (Ross) of Daytona Beach; Uncle Carlyle Aveni of New Haven, Connecticut; Aunt Anna Ronciglione Durkin of Philadelphia; nearly two dozen nieces and nephews; loving cousins; friends and fellow musicians; and countless students and audiences he inspired and entertained through the years. Services are postponed until the novel coronavirus pandemic is under control. 

Remembering Salvatore "Sal" Ronci

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

James M. 'Jim' Ramstad

James M. 'Jim' Ramstad

May 6, 1946 - November 5, 2020

Ramstad, James M. 'Jim' 74, of Wayzata, died peacefully on November 5, 2020, of Parkinson's Disease with Lewy Body. He spent his final days at home, surrounded by his loving family. Preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Della Mae; grandparents, Oscar and Amelia Fode, and Joseph and Sarah Ramstad; and mother-in-law Muffy Christen. Survived by his loving wife Kathryn; daughter Christen (Billy) DeLaney; sister Sheryl Ramstad (Lee Larson); sister- and brother-in-law Rebecca and Robert Pohlad; father-in-law Paul Christen; nieces Sarah Kmetz (Brian) and Kristina Hvass (Jordan Taylor); and nephews Charles Hvass (Brittany Martutartus) and Karl Larson; and many cousins. He leaves behind his devoted dog, Wink. Jim was a dedicated public servant who impacted tens of thousands of lives through his policy accomplishments and personal service. He leaves a legacy of love, service, dignity, and respect, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.

Jim's political philosophy was guided by a fundamental belief in the importance of working in a bipartisan, pragmatic, common-sense way to solve problems. A nine-term Member of Congress, he was a member of the Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittees on Health, Trade, and Oversight. He also served 10 years in the Minnesota State Senate, rising to Assistant Minority Leader. Congressman Ramstad authored a number of important pieces of legislation that were passed into law. He was proudest of the bipartisan Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Parity Act, which became law in 2008. He was named "Legislator of the Year" by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addictions Council in 1998, by the National Mental Health Association in 1999, and by the National Association of Police Organizations in 1997 and 2000.

Jim graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Minnesota, earned his law degree with honors at George Washington University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of St. Thomas. He was a Resident Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School and served as an adjunct professor at American University and Montgomery College. He loved his country and served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves. Committed to helping the underserved throughout his life, Jim served on 20 non-profit boards, co-founded the Lake Country Food Bank, and volunteered at Sharing and Caring Hands. He was a member of American Legion Post 118, Plymouth Lions Club, and the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce. Jim and his wife Kathryn have been active members of Wayzata Community Church.

After retiring from Congress, Jim served as an advisor to the Hazelden Foundation, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and the alliantgroup. He was also on the board of the Partnership to End Addiction. Shortly before his death, Jim celebrated his 39th year of sobriety. Throughout the years, he supported countless friends, colleagues, and total strangers on their roads to recovery and was active in Alcoholics Anonymous. He lived by and frequently referred to the Serenity Prayer. To support veterans' efforts to become sober, Jim established the Ramstad Recovery Fund, which provides access to treatment for America's heroes who have been left behind and unable to gain access to life-saving treatment.

A private burial service will take place immediately at Lakewood Cemetery. The celebration of Jim's life will be held for family only at Wayzata Community Church and live-streamed to the public on Sunday afternoon, November 29th. Jim will be remembered for many accomplishments, but most of all his dedication to his faith, family, and friends.

Remembering James M. 'Jim' Ramstad

Thank you for your memorial contribution and for completing this form. The information you provide enables us to apply your remembrance gift exactly as you wish.

Contact Us

Parkinson's Resource Organization
74785 Highway 111
Suite 208
Indian Wells, CA 92210

Local Phone
(760) 773-5628

Toll-Free Phone
(877) 775-4111

General Information


Like! Subscribe! Share!

Did you know that you can communicate with us through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and now Instagram?



Updated: August 16, 2017