Joseph Ramaker, 83, formerly of Preston
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 3:40 AM
Joseph Wayne Ramaker, 83, died on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at the Prairie Meadows Senior living in Kasson.
He was born May 28, 1930, in Preston, to Carroll and Frances (Leister) Ramaker. He attended Oak Grove Country School for eight years and continued his education at Preston High School, where he graduated in 1948.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and was later honorably discharged. After returning from the Navy, he farmed in Preston.
On Jan. 23, 1954, he married Lois Jean Jacobson in Preston. They continued to farm in the Stewartville area. He worked at Mayo Clinic, IBM and finally sold real estate in Rochester.
After he became a broker, he owned and operated Ramaker Realty in Chatfield for several years. During these years, he continued to farm northwest of Chatfield, where he raised shorthorn cattle and Belgian horses.
After moving to Bella Vista, Ark., in 1989, he continued to sell real estate, and his ongoing love of farming led him to purchase a small farm where he raised beef cattle.
He also had a lifelong passion for gardening, which was evident in his own personal yard as well as many other yards he landscaped. Over the years, he had worked in several garden centers and nurseries. He often brought home dying plants that he nursed back to health and incorporated into his own garden. He won the titles "Yard of the Year" as well as "Mr. Joe" for his gardening.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years; his children, Jill Woodward-Kuhn of Bella Vista, Ark., Lynn (Terry) Tomke of Alamogordo, N.M., and Michael Ramaker of Newport, Ark.; his grandchildren, Seth and Lincoln Jacobs, Emily and Laura (Chris Liston) Woodward and Molly and Maurie Tomke; great-grandchildren, Logan and Drake Jacobs and Natalie Woodward. Additional survivors include his identical twin brother, Jerry (Sylvia) Ramaker of Rochester and younger brother, James "Jim" (Jackie) Ramaker of Wells, and James "Jim" Ryan who became like a second son when he moved to the farm in Arkansas and eventually bought it from Mr. Ramaker.
A celebration of life was held on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester, with the Rev. Anjanette K. Bandel officiating.
Memorials are preferred to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research, Bella Vista Community Church or Heartland Hospice.