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Late Observer vendor hailed as a pleasant man, excellent chef

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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JACKSON TOWN, Trelawny — Scores of mourners from all walks of life turned out at Jackson Town Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday to bid their final farewell to Owen Ramsay, the Jamaica Observer's top newspaper vendor in Trelawny.

Readers said they will miss their pleasant, early-morning interactions with Ramsay in Falmouth, where he sold the Observer for many years.

An emotionally charged atmosphere pervaded the service during which Ramsay was most remembered for his culinary skills and his omnipresent smile.

In giving tribute, Trelawny Northern Member of Parliament Victor Wright, like many before and after him, recounted that Ramsay wore a permanent smile and was a man of few words.

But the amicable Ramsay will be mostly missed by many people throughout the parish who relied on him to cook at big functions, including funerals, weddings, sporting activities, family reunions and business meetings. He also offered a catering service on some occasions.

Ramsay's culinary skills were also highlighted by his niece, Tanisha Ramsay, in her eulogy.

“After leaving school he put his training to good use, embarking on a career as a chef. He became an expert at his craft. Many persons far and wide can attest to his culinary skills, especially those in Falmouth. The bird shooters in the surrounding communities will now have to find another cook for this bird season,” she said.

Mourners heading to the repast at the family home in Jackson Town even quipped that they hoped the meal would meet Ramsay's standards.

Born in Jackson Town on December 24, 1958, Ramsay attended First Hill All-Age School in his community before moving on to Albert Town Secondary School where he was trained in food and nutrition.

After gaining employment in Falmouth as a chef at Spice 'n' Nice Bakery, he relocated to the parish capital where he met and married Ivet, a union which produced two children — Nickeisha and Dwayne.

Ramsay, who was known as “Deacon” in his native Jackson Town community, and “Maffi” in Falmouth, died on Monday, September 9 at Falmouth Public General Hospital following a brief illness.

He was interred at Jackson Town Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, children, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, siblings, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

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