Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 15, 2013

Community mourns loss of ‘Jimmy’ Ramey Jr

by BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — A well-known area businessman, James C. “Jimmy” Ramey Jr., passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, according to a news release from the Ramey Auto Group.

Ramey, 49, resided in Tazewell, Va., and had been associated with the businesses that his father, James C. Ramey Sr., founded in the mid 1950s. Jimmy Ramey was owner and operator of Ramey Ford in Princeton at the time of his death.

The Ramey Auto Group issued a brief statement on Thursday afternoon, asking for prayers and for people to respect their family during this difficult time. Peery and St. Clair will announcement complete arrangements, but the Ramey Auto Group included this statement: “The family requests that charitable donations be made in honor of Jimmy Ramey to Destiny Outreach Ministries in Tazewell, Va.”

“Jimmy was just here in town hall with his daughter during a Halloween event we held for some pre-school kids,” Todd Day, Tazewell, Va., town manager said. “He reached over, shook my hand and we talked for a few minutes, but he was there with his daughter. I really appreciated that.

“Jimmy has always been involved with the community in some way,” Day said. “Last year, the Back of the Dragon event was the biggest it has ever been. The only way that it was possible to hold an event of that size was by being able to use the big lot in town,” Day said, making reference to the former McCann Motors lot near the Four-Ways in Tazewell that is now owned by the Ramey Auto group.

“He worked closely with Larry Davidson on that project,” Day said. “He was kind enough to let Larry use that lot for the Back of the Dragon.

“Jimmy did a lot of things in the community that people never knew about,” Day said. “About a year ago, the town was looking for a police cruiser, and we went out to the dealership to look at one they had. Finances are always tight and we were trying to work with them to see if we could find a way to make payments. Jimmy donated the cruiser to the town.

“That kind of a heart-felt gesture might be something that never finds its way into the newspaper, but it sure made an impression with me,” Day said. “I thought of him as a community-minded person. He will certainly be missed.”

Ikey Dailey, one of Jimmy’s neighbors, worked as a mechanic for his father’s dealership before Jimmy started working for his father. Although they never worked together, Dailey said he has good memories of Jimmy.

“He was always nice to me,” Dailey said.

Jim Spencer, Tazewell County administrator said he hasn’t had a lot of direct contact with Jimmy Ramey, but he has had a lot of interaction with Jim Ramey Sr.

“The Ramey family has been a real success story in Tazewell County,” Spencer said. “They have done a great job of building successful businesses and providing the community with many jobs. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ramey family at this time.”

Jimmy Ramey is survived by his wife, Jessica Ramey, three daughters and one son, as well as a large work family, according to the Ramey Auto Group statement. The family will receive visitors at the Peery and St. Clair Funeral Home in Tazewell starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, with a Celebration of Life to begin at 8 p.m. A private service for the family will be on Sunday.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com