Cover photo for James E. Ramsey, Sr.'s Obituary
James E. Ramsey, Sr. Profile Photo
1927 James 2023

James E. Ramsey, Sr.

November 11, 1927 — January 31, 2023


Poland - James Earl Ramsey, Sr., 95, formerly of Duncan Drive, passed away Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at Maplecrest Nursing Home in Struthers surrounded by his loving family.

Jim was born November 11, 1927 in Youngstown, a son of the late Lorraine Ramsey and grandson of the late Margaret Ramsey, who later adopted and raised him.

A proud Boardman Spartan, Jim graduated from Boardman High School in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Army as a member of the 10th Constabulary Regimental Band, Jim graduated from Youngstown College in 1952 with a B.S. in Music Education from the Dana School of Music. He furthered his educational growth by earning his Master's Degree in Music Education from Westminster College.

Jim married Elma Pekkanen, on October 12, 1949 and she passed away on April 24, 2012.

Jim was a devoted instrumental music teacher for Youngstown City Schools for over 35 years, retiring in 1987.  For over 60 years, he was also blessed to have taught hundreds of students private music lessons.

As an active member of the community, Jim was a member of Old North Church in Canfield, the Canfield Community Band, Gideons International, the Jewish-Christian Dialogue, and also participated in the Conversations Salon at Poland Library. Jim was a lifelong learner, who attended College Over-Sixty at YSU, accumulating 185 non-credit hours.

Jim will be missed by his two children, James E. (Giovanna) Ramsey, Jr. and Janet L. Bish both of Poland, OH; eight grandchildren, Jonathan (Chelsea) Bish of Victoria, BC, Canada, James (Esther) Ramsey III of Norwood, MO, Jeffrey (Gabrielle) Ramsey of San Diego, CA, Jen Bish (Grant Via) of Fort Mill, SC, Lauren (Judah) Rodriguez of Poland, OH, Adrienne Bish (Patrick Majernik) of Boardman, OH, Jordan (Marian) Ramsey of San Diego, CA, and Grant (Natalie) Ramsey of San Diego, CA; fifteen great-grandchildren, James IV, Charles, Robert, William, Gian, Alina, Vivian, Cara, Kate, Arlo, Jack, Luciana, Benjamin, Jaxson, and Brodhi; a sister, Margaret (Pat) Martucci of Austintown, OH; and two sisters-in-law, Jan Farrah of Louisville, OH, and Elsa Metting of Spokane Valley, WA; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his grandmother Margaret, mother, Lorraine; his wife Elma Ramsey; a brother, Ivan R. Farrah and many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Family and friends may call on Friday, February 24, 2023, from 3:00 p. m. to 4:00 p.m. at Old North Church, 7105 Herbert Road in Canfield. A memorial service celebrating Jim's life will follow at 4:00 p.m. at the church with Pastor Rick Enlow  officiating. A private burial will take place at Lake Park Cemetery in Youngstown.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Old North Church Benevolent Fund, Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, 1300 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Youngstown, OH 44510, or

Arrangements are being handled by Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, 270 N. Main Street in Poland.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James E. Ramsey, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 24, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, February 24, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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