David Lee Ramey, age 66, passed away in Boulder on Monday, January 31st, 2022. He was born on April 26th, 1955, in Helena to William Ramey and Deannie (Demers) Ramey.
Dave grew up in Boulder with his four siblings building tree forts, launching home-made rockets, competing at sports, and playing outside. He was a happy child always laughing and smiling. He was also a hard worker early on, taking a job stocking shelves and delivering the milk run from Whitehall before early morning football practice. He loved playing sports and participated in football, basketball, and track at Jefferson High School.
Dave met the love of his life and began dating Bonnie Bullock his junior year of high school. The two were married shortly after high school on August 17th, 1974. They settled in Basin Montana and had two boys, Jason and Kelson.
Dave was an ironworker at this time. When he wasn’t at work, he and the family were in the woods gathering logs and firewood. Dave acquired a sawmill and spent many evenings and weekends sawing logs into lumber to build their first house. He also used the wood to build many pieces of furniture. He loved his family fiercely and spent all his spare time playing with his boys and cherishing Bonnie. They spent a lot of time together hunting, riding motorcycles, and playing sports and games. He taught his boys how to work, employing them as they were able once he started his general contracting business.
The family eventually settled in Boulder where Dave built another family house and workshop together with Bonnie and his boys. His home is filled with his touch, and it is impossible to open a cabinet, sit at a table or use a door without thinking about his legacy. He built many homes, shops, and buildings around Jefferson County over the years. He was the ultimate craftsman and could work wood into just about anything. He was always willing to lend a hand to those in need which led him to manage a Habitat for Humanity housing project and teach shop class at Jefferson High after retirement. He mentored many youths and passed on his knowledge to anyone willing to listen.
If Dave enjoyed being a father, then he absolutely loved being a grandfather. Papa Dave spoiled his grandkids every chance he could, playing games, guiding them in his workshop and teaching them his “Papa” jokes. He was a papa to many, not just his own grandchildren as kids were naturally drawn to his child-like demeanor. His sense of humor will live on in all of them much to their mothers’ displeasure!
Dave was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in the winter of 2021. He decided to participate in a Netherland’s pharmaceutical cancer study. He knew the study would not likely save him, but he wanted to provide research to perhaps make a difference for others. The study did prolong his life and he was able to accomplish many goals, including watching his grandson graduate high school and dancing with his granddaughter at her wedding. His sense of humor never waned, and he would often say he was living past his “expiration” date. The St. James’ Cancer Center staff, doctors and nurses were treated to this humor on every visit. Their care for Dave was instrumental in prolonging his life and our family cannot thank them enough.
Dave was the rock of his family providing wisdom, strong hands, patient teaching and unconditional love. His relationship with Jesus Christ defined his life and he was at peace with his diagnosis. He spent his final days trying to help friends mend relationships within their families. Dave was always teaching his family, showing them how to live and how to die with grace, peace, and a smile. He passed away with Bonnie by his side, holding onto him.
He is preceded in death by his father William Ramey, father-in-law Allan (John) Bullock and mother-in-law Arla Bullock. Left to honor and remember David are wife Bonnie Ramey; sons Jason (Angela) Ramey and Kelson (Katie) Ramey; mother Deannie Ramey; brothers Bill (Liz) Ramey and Randy (Lola) Ramey; sisters JoAnn (Jerry) Dupler and Flora (Steve) Gilmer; grandchildren Kennedy (Connor) Langel, Nick Ramey, Alex Ramey, Reese Ramey, and Trey Ramey; brother-in-law Dan Bullock; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
– Deuteronomy 31:6
There will be a memorial service February 19th at 11:00 am in the Father William Greytak Catholic Center in Boulder, Montana.
We all miss you. You were a wonderful husband, father, friend, and papa.