Oklahomans Mourn the Loss of Blue and Gold Sausage Founder Don RamseyThu, 17 Dec 2020 05:31:19 CST
“I believe in the future of agriculture…” is how the FFA Creed begins, and there is not another person that believed in that more than Donald (Don) Eugene Ramsey.
It's likely that if you are reading this- you sold a stick or two or more of Blue and Gold Sausage as a fund raiser for your local FFA Chapter- and if you have not- perhaps you have bought Blue and Gold Sausage from a FFA member or a member of a Boy Scout Troop or member of a school band in Oklahoma and Surrounding states. If you have, Don Ramsey touched your life. Ramsey passed away earlier this week- leaving behind a legacy of impacting youth and the organizations they are members of. (The picture here is of Don Ramsey at the 2009 Oklahoma Youth Expo Premium Sale- Ramsey and his company, Blue and Gold, have been supporters of the OYE and the spring stock shows that preceeded it since Blue and Gold was established in 1970)
The following is the Obituary for Ramsey:
Born October 31, 1928, to R.L. and Nellie Ramsey in Three Sands, Oklahoma, shortly after his birth the family moved to Dale, Oklahoma. Living in the small town of Dale, Don developed a love of sports, especially basketball, and became inspired to be a Vo-Ag teacher. After graduating high school in 1946 he attended OBU for one year where he played basketball, but ultimately his goal was to attend Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State) to pursue his objective, teach agriculture. He transferred and completed his Vocational Agriculture degree in three years in 1950.
The stories from his time at Oklahoma A&M were most entertaining. From repairing and selling bicycles to pay his way through college, to convincing the college Dean to allow him to take 22 credit hours a semester to graduate in three years. When the Dean asked why his simple response was “I have a job to do and that is when I run out of money.” As with everything in Don’s life, he was determined and persisted to make it happen.
Following graduation from Oklahoma A&M, Don started teaching Vocational Agriculture at Washington, Oklahoma. This was interrupted temporarily as he served 2 years in the Army during the Korean Conflict.
Following his service, he went back to teaching at Alfalfa, Oklahoma, before landing in Jones, Oklahoma.
A pig sale in Wewoka, Oklahoma, was where he met the love of his life, Willadean Crenshaw, and they married April 14, 1966. Together, they had three sons; Wesley, Brett, and Greg.
During his time as the Vo-Ag teacher in Jones, Don discovered a way to raise money for his FFA programs by taking the hogs that the kids showed and making sausage to sell to the community. This began becoming popular, so in 1970 Don and Willadean incorporated the Blue & Gold Sausage Company. Don retired from teaching agriculture in 1972, after 20 years, to dedicate time to his next career as a sausage maker.
Don’s idea for a little sausage company was successful beyond his imagination, and he semi-retired after 42 years, passing the operation to his sons; Brett and Greg. Blue & Gold Sausage Company was just another way for him to make an impact in the lives of many FFA members, but on a larger scale. Don bled blue and gold, and dedicated many years of charitable service to the organization.
Many people strive to leave a legacy by things they do and how they live, but Don Ramsey truly succeeded. His presence through the Oklahoma FFA Association, Oklahoma State University Agricultural Education, and Dale Rogers Training Center will be felt for an eternity. Teaching his children and grandchildren the importance of charity and support will ensure that his legacy lives on.
Don is survived by his wife of 54 years, Willadean; son Brett and wife Lisa, grandchildren Kylee Ramsey-Yingling and Kolston Burns; son Greg and wife Shelly, granddaughter Peyton Ramsey; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held for Mr. Ramsey, Thursday, December 17 from 8am to 8pm at Barnes Friederich Funeral Home, 1820 S. Douglas Blvd. Midwest City, OK 73130.
Services will be December 18, 2020, at 1 p.m. at the East Side Church of Christ in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He will be laid to rest at the Dale Cemetery following the services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Donald Ramsey Memorial Fund via the Oklahoma FFA Foundation I Believe Campaign, 1500 W. 7th Avenue, Stillwater, OK, 74074. Click here for the OKlahoma FFA Foundation webpage- click on the DONATE button there and note that your gift is for the Don Ramsey Memorial Fund.
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