James Kenneth Ramsay, 81
APACHE JUNCTION — James Kenneth Ramsay, 81, a lifetime son of Arizona, passed away January 9, 2021. He was born in Snowflake, Arizona to John “Jack” and Frances Ramsay. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona with his three sisters Phyllis, Joan, and Norma and attended South Mountain High School. In August 1959, he boarded a plane to Brazil to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Upon his return, James married Sheron Diane Perry in September 1962, and had five children: Perry, Charles “Chuck”, Carilynn, Jon, and Cherylynn.
During the Cold War in 1963, James enlisted and reported to the Army Language School at Fort Ord, Monterey California, where he learned Russian and was stationed in Germany in 1964. Upon his return and honorable discharge, James earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education and Spanish from Arizona State University. In 1969, James began his first years in teaching at Bowie, Arizona and St. David, Arizona High Schools. James transferred to Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona in 1976 as a Spanish Instructor, where he held a multitude of roles in education, athletics, and the community. “Coach” Ramsay led many Buena boys and girls team sports, some of which being track, football, basketball, as well as managing the City Pool and associated lifeguard programs. Some of his favorite memories were leading the Buena Spanish Club language/culture immersion trips to Mexico. James’s dedication and leadership in education spread broadly to many schools, districts, and colleges around the state where he influenced learning for countless students and peers.
James married Marsha Incardone in 2014 and spent his last years loving his children, grandchildren, and cultivating his backyard paradise and “pericos” (birds). He was a loving husband, father, and grandpa and will be missed.
James is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Joan. He is survived by his wife, Marsha Incardone-Ramsay (Apache Junction, Arizona); son, Perry Ramsay (Mesa, Arizona); son, Charles “Chuck” and wife Amanda Ramsay (Tucson, Arizona); daughter, Carilynn and husband Damon Jenkins (Anthem, Arizona); Jon and wife Robynne Ramsay (Phoenix, Arizona); daughter, Cheryl and husband Lance (Tellico Plains, Tennessee); 14 grandchildren; sister, Phyllis Ramsey (Hermosa Beach, California); sister, Norma Beauchat (Ammon, Idaho).
Memorial services are planned in Apache Junction, Arizona on Saturday, January 16, 2021.