William  Ramsay

Saturday June 15, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Trinity United Church Cobourg


Saturday June 15, 2:00 pm Trinity United Church Cobourg

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William Ramsay

September 3, 1928 - June 5, 2019

Bill was born in Timmins, Ontario, September 3, 1928 and died in Cobourg, Ontario, June 5, 2019. Bill was predeceased by his parents Alex and Molly Ramsay and his first wife Elizabeth Ann Gilbert. Ann was the mother of their children Rick (Jeni) and Rachel Hendry (Stephen) all of Acton, Ontario. Bill adored his grandchildren Kate and Reid Hendry and Austin (born on Bill’s 60th) and Garrett Ramsay. Bill married Lynn Kirby February 4, 1984 and became the best step-dad to Stacie Dickerson (Jody) and Stephen Brackenbury (Meghan). Loved by two more grandsons Andrew and Graham Dickerson. Bill arrived in Cobourg in 1951 to be the new Trinity United Church’s organist and choir director. He also took on teaching music in the schools of North and South Hope and North and South Hamilton Townships. He would only stay for two years and wanted to go back to the city. Well that didn’t happen. He loved his jobs, the area and the people. Bill remained at Trinity as well as taking on the position of Head of Music at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute East finally retiring from the church in 1977 and CDCI East in 1987. Bill always said he had the best job ever and he loved all his students. Later in years he would say, “I don’t remember your name but you played a flute”. The students loved it. While at the school Bill’s Pit Band played for musicals such as Mame, Lil Abner, Bells Are Ringing, and on and on. One year the band played for over a day to try and get into the Guiness Book of Records and they did. Bands went on excursions to Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Boston, Bermuda, Quebec City all under the leadership of Bill and his fellow music teachers. Bill also helped as vocal coach and accompanist for the Cobourg Opera and Drama Guild. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Northumberland Festival and devoted many hours to organize festival events in the area. In addition he found time to conduct the Cobourg Concert Band for four years. After retiring Bill and Lynn spent time in Florida where Bill conducted sixty voices of a mixed chorus for a few years as well as the men’s chorus called the Heedless Horsemen. Bill was ecstatic when he got the job of playing piano with Ranchero’s sixteen piece dance band. He did that for eight years and loved every minute. Bill also had more time for his gardening and woodworking and of course more time at the cottage on Lake Kawagama which he built years before with the help of a few wonderful friends. Bill was predeceased by his brother Donald and his wife Margaret of Toronto. Will be missed by his sister Grace Luke (the late Eric) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He will be sadly missed by Lynn’s sisters Diane Pritchard and Debbie Quigley-Quemby and their families as well as many nieces and nephews of the Ramsay and Gilbert families. A big thank you goes out to ALL of the staff of Streamway Villa Nursing Home in Cobourg for looking after Bill these last 14 months. The care and love was just wonderful. Bill was Cobourg’s Mr. Music for many years and he will be missed by all those who knew him. Bill’s service will be held at Trinity United Church, 284 Division Street, Cobourg on Saturday, June 15 at 2 pm with visitation from 1-2 pm. Reception to follow at the church. Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.

Message Of Condolence

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Lana Libke - August 7, 2019

Just heard the news today and wanted to pass on my condolences to Lynn, Rick and Rachel and families. Your Dad was a big part of my high school years. Such a positive influence and always a big laugh and smile. He will be missed by so many. It is a tough time losing parents especially when we are blessed with having them for so long. The pain and tears eventually stop but our memories of them will last forever.

Carolien and Brian McNamara - June 30, 2019

We are so very sad to hear of Bill's passing, he was a fine man who was loved by multitudes of students and teachers as well as by all those in the community whom he touched. Our thoughts are with you.

David McKitrick - June 27, 2019

Sincere condolences to Lynn and families. We are sorry for your loss.(from) David McKitrick and family

David McKitrick & Family - June 26, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Trinity United Church

Nancy Longworth (Thackeray) - June 18, 2019

Dear Rachel and Rick. I am so sorry for your loss. I've been revisiting the fond memories of your Dad... He was certainly one of a kind. Keep those memories close to your heart. Sending you love, hugs and prayers.Nancy

Pat & Shelley (Kernaghan) Rutherford - June 16, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Streamway Villa Residents Fund

Hallie Gibson - June 16, 2019

Mr. Ramsay - my lovely piano teacher when I was very young and such a wonderful man - I always was so happy to see him and remember just before I left Cobourg running into him at Kelly's and was so thrilled! I am so very sorry for your loss - I have so many fond memories of this lovely man and his wonderful smile and humour,Big hugs to you - Hallie Gibson

Andrew and Dina Peters - June 15, 2019

Dina and I were very saddened to hear of Bill's passing. He was a wonderful man and we both had the pleasure of having him as a teacher multiple times. He helped make music a large part of our lives, and certainly made our high school years just that much more fun. His reputation of being a joyful and caring teacher was well-earned.Lynn, you have our deepest sympathies. I know the last few years have been tough, and so very unfair. I hope that everything goes smoothly today, and regret that we could not be with you. Please know that you have our loving thoughts.

Ginny (Lawless) Heming - June 15, 2019

Hi to all family and giant hugs, Mr. Ramsay was my music teacher and I went to Nova Scotia with him and played for the Guinness world record. Every time I would hear his name or see him when I came home to Cobourg, I would smile and be so happy our paths crossed. There are a few teachers who truly made a difference and Bill was one of the greats. He inspired me to be better and I faithfully took a trumpet home most nights which led to me winning an award. We had many laughs and I played in the pit band for musicals. There will always be a special place in my heart for this talented, caring, inspiring teacher and musician. I send this with tears in my eyes but with love and honour in my heart. Ginny (Lawless) Heming Parksville, BC

Jane Penney - June 15, 2019

Lynn my thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Bill’s huge presence will be missed , but will always be there in our memories.I will remember you all in my prayers.Jane Penney Streamway Volunteer

Russ & Helen Hulme - June 15, 2019

We were sad to hear of Bill's passing. We knew him only for a short time after moving here, and found him to be a warm and friendly gentleman. A man of wit and charm, and an accomplished raconteur. He was one of a kind and will be missed.Our condolences to Lynn and family.Russ & Helen HulmeCobourg

The Lawless Family - June 15, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Streamway Villa Residents Fund

Laura Manning - June 15, 2019

Mr Bill was such an amazing teacher and family friend. I remember being little and him letting me sit on the organ bench at Trinity Church, telling me about the organ and how it worked. He supported me getting into the Ontario Youth Concert Band which was an amazing experience (he even made a bet with another teacher that I would get in!) He really has a positive impact on my life not only because of his humour but also because of the drive for excellence that he pushed for. Yes he was funny but he was also deadly serious about having you work hard to do your best. I will always appreciate knowing him, he had a really positive impact on my life.

Joanne Dillon-McKay - June 15, 2019

Dear Lynn, Rick and Rachel and all the Ramsay Family.My siblings and I were so saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved music teacher Mr. Ramsay. We cannot tell you what an impact Bill had on each of us Dillon kids at CDCI East over the years. He was absolutely wonderful to us, so kind and funny and caring, and we felt a connection to our dear Mr. Ramsay that lasted throughout our adult lives. He inspired us all and we will never forget him. We are so sorry for your loss.Joanne Dillon-McKay (and Mike, Joe and Nary Dillon)

Diana Storen - June 14, 2019

I was sorry to hear that Bill had passed away. I remember seeing him a couple of times recently at Streamway Villa when the Corktown Fiddlers entertained. He seemed to be in good spirits and really enjoyed the music. I am glad that we were able to do that for him and the other residents.I did not know him, but I have heard nothing but very positive things about him and his connection to music.Diana Storen

Ed & Marg Godawa - June 14, 2019

Lynn:Our thoughts and prayers are with you.Bill was such a wonderful person and inspired many people, He left many beautiful memories for all. Sorry. That we could not be with you today.Love, Marg & Ed Godawa

Steve,Anne & Catherine Redmond - June 14, 2019

Dear Lynn, Rachel and Rick:The three Redmonds are sorry to hear of Bill's death. He was a wonderful friend, teacher and touched our lives in so many ways. We will always be grateful for the influence he had in shaping our lives. The music in Heaven will be so much richer now !The Redmond Kids

Ruth E Shehan - June 14, 2019

Dear Lynn and Family. Our fond memories of Bill date back many years to when our family first moved to Cobourg. The Ramsays and the Brackenburys were among my parents first friends back in 1967. Enjoyable times were shares on so many occasions particularily around the world of high school musicals. Mr Ramsay was the favourite teacher of all who were fortunate enough to study music under his guidance. Our memories of Bill are filled with kindness, laughter and the twinkle in his eyes when he smiled, which was often. Our thoughts are with you Lynn, Rick, Rachel, Stacie and Steven. Sincerely, Ruth and Brad

Judy Lapoint - June 14, 2019

My condolences to the Ramsay family at this sad time. Uncle Bill, Aunt Bet, Rick and Rachel were a very big influence on my life for two years and I always remember Uncle Bill with great fondness. Music was a very important part of their lives. I hope the family is doing well and continue to do so.Judy Gilbert Lapointe

Carol Stevens - June 14, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Charity of Your Choice

Lori & Gerry Payne - June 14, 2019

Both Gerry and I are sorry to hear of the loss of Uncle Bill(your Dad). He was my favorite uncle. Rachel & Ric we think of you at this time in your life. Love Lori and Gerry

Keith and Kay Nicholas - June 14, 2019

Kay and I would like to pass on our most sincere condolences to all of Bill's family.Bill had a very large impact on my teaching career and my life philosophy.. He was most supportive of me as a rookie high school teacher and allowed me to bloom under his mentorship. Mostly he taught me that the key to having a successful music programme was to let the students have fun while at the same time demanding he high level of commitment to their bands and fellow musicians. It certainly worked for him and I hope for me too in my ensuing years as a music teacher.Bill was a good friend and both Kay and I will hold a special place in our hearts for him.Love to all of you. Keith and Kay

The Cimetta Family - June 13, 2019

Our deepest condolences go out to the family of William Ramsay.from the Cimetta Family

Michael Hanlon - June 13, 2019

A lovely man, a fine musician. He loved music as much as it loved him. We wish we could be with you but have to collect UK visitors at Pears9838937on. Our thoughts are with you.Sincerely, Joan and Michael Hanlon

Jim & Mary Jane McLaren - June 13, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Canadian Cancer Society

Mary Jane & Jim McLaren - June 13, 2019

Lynn and all the family, we are thinking of you at this time. Please accept our sincere condolences. We hope you take comfort in your memories of a life that was very well lived and respected.

Courtney - June 13, 2019

Dear mrs. Ramsay we just wanted to say that we were sorry to hear that bill passed away he was such a great person and always very nice to Kevin and I. We are hope that you're doing okay and if there's anything that you need we are there. I'm sorry to you and your family for your loss. My condolences. I remember mr. Ramsey new a lot of my family members and their friends. Kevin and I were mr. Ramses paper boy and girl we loved coming in and asking how they were doing take care of yourself mrs. Ramsay and family

Colin and Ruth Watson - June 13, 2019

May your many memories help ease your pain.

Marilyn Blair - June 12, 2019

We are sorry to hear of Uncle Bill’s death. You will miss him greatly. He was a blessing to many.Bob and Marilyn Blair

Katherine Johns - June 11, 2019

Dear Lynn and family!A short note to let you and your family know that you are in my thoughts and prayersLove Katherine

George Quigley - June 11, 2019


Karen Lotito - June 9, 2019

Dear Lynn,I was so sorry to hear Bill has passed. Mom and I were talking about all the gatherings we had at your home and ours. He was always wonderful and playful in his love of life. I believed he enjoyed life to its fullest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and hope you find comfort with family during this painful time. With love and fond remembrance,Karen Lotito

Mrs Helen Lotito - June 9, 2019

Lynn Dearest: I am saddened to hear of Bill's passing but I am comforted in knowing that he is with our Lord and with Bobby. I have many fond memories of all the good times we shared and although he is no longer with us, please know that he will not be forgotten. I still have the piano Bill gave me and wonder what Bill would think of "my talent". I am sorry I never got to play it for him. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. With Love,Helen Lotito and Karen Lotito

Harry Nash - June 9, 2019

So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He was a great guy and a lot of fun. We will all miss him.Harry & Linda Nash

Sophie (Jansen) Varaschin - June 9, 2019

My sincere condolences to the Ramsay family.(Rick and Rachel) With many fond memories of singing in the United Church choir under the direction of Bill Ramsay.

Liz (Gaiger) McCaughey - June 9, 2019

I love that photo of Bill. Mr. Ramsay was my piano teacher and our daughter's as well. WE all loved him and were so fortunate to have such and energetic and encouraging teacher. I'll never forget Bill and am thankful that he was part of my life growing up. My thoughts are with all of you who loved him so much. Sincere sympathy. Liz McCaughey

Cathy and Dave Hortop - June 8, 2019

We were so saddened to hear of his death, and send our sympathies to you. We have many many fond memories of being in the band, going on trips, and in general just having a great time doing music.We plan to come next Saturday, looking forward to seeing you and catching up. Cathy

Chuck Skitch - June 8, 2019

thoughts go to all at this difficult time

Christina Winkworth Coulter - June 8, 2019

Hi Aunt Lynn;We are thinking of you and all the family. Thank you for sharing so many great memories of Bill.Christina and family

Barb (Burge) Matthews - June 7, 2019

Lynn and family,I am sorry to hear of your loss of Bill. I had just met you recently and our deepest sympathy is with you.Take care,Barb Matthews

Claudette Cowin - June 7, 2019

Sincere condolences to the family in your loss of a very fine man and music teacher. Our three sons were in his high school bands, as well as school musicals, and fund raisers. They enthusiastically learned so much from him. As parents we always appreciated the very valuable guidance he gave the kids, all done with genuine caring and a great sense of humour. He left hi mark on so many students over the years. I have no doubt that he has already organized a group and is guiding them in playing beautiful heavenly music! You must be very proud of being part of his family. He has left all of you quite a legacy! Sincerely, Claudette Cowin-- We all live under the same sky, but we don't see the same light.-- Chinese proverb

Ken Waldie - June 7, 2019

Bill Ramsey One of the finest gentlemen I have ever known.

Steve Williamson - June 7, 2019

A sad day. Playing in the band, stage band, and with Rick and the guys was what I enjoyed most about CDCI East. He really was "Mr. Music." We had to get dressed up to go to church every Sunday, and have to last through Rev. Kelloway's sermons, but the music made it worth going.

Malcolm Francis - June 7, 2019

I am so sad to hear about the passing of Mr. Ramsay. He was my favourite teacher at CDCI East in the late 60's and early 70's. I am still playing the French Horn and have been performing with the New Westminster Symphony for the past 23 years. I'm also very involved in playing in pit orchestras for musicals in the Vancouver area. I've also been a member of the Vancouver Men's Chorus, singing bass, since 1981. My love of music has been a big part of my life and I owe it all to Mr. Ramsay. My next performance with the symphony will be in his honour. Condolences to the family.

Michael Winter - June 7, 2019

Rick and RachelMy sincere condolences on the passing of your DadToo many memories of my family, choir and school association(s) with him.Fondest regardsMichael Winter

Mary & Paul Winkworth & family - June 7, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lynn and her family. Bill was always a gentleman and full of good humour, a dedicated teacher and always professional. He was one of a kind and he will be missed!

Paul & Mary Winkworth - June 7, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Canadian Diabetic Association

Rob Cochrane - June 7, 2019

Thanks Bill for teaching me that I am better at listening to music than trying to make it. Rob Cochrane

Sue Lanctot - June 7, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation

Sue Lanctot - June 7, 2019

To Lynn and the family:We wish to send our sincere condolences in the loss of wonderful Bill. He was always so much fun!!! May the happy memories of him sustain you all at this sad time.SincerelySam and Sue

Shelley (Dunn) Macdonell - June 7, 2019

Many fond memories of “Mr Ramsey” teacher, and family friend..condolences to Rick, Rachel and family.

Brad and Heather Halls - June 7, 2019

To Lynn and all the members of the Ramsay family.Heather and I were very saddened to hear of Bills passing. It was such pleasure to know Bill during our 35+ years in Cobourg. As a fellow musician, I was always somewhat in awe of Bill's musical gifts, and his constant willingness to share those gifts with his students, his band members, his chorister and the wider community. He was an inspiration to so many and to me personally, he was always a warm and engaging person, always willing to offer encouragement and support. Truly one of a kind, he will be missed very much.Brad HallsFergus, Ontario (formerly of Cobourg)brad.halls@wightman.ca

Bob and Eugenia Cairns - June 7, 2019

I worked with Bill at CDCI East in the glory years. He was indeed Mr. Music and led a highly respected music program as well as the pit band for many musicals. He was larger than life, energetic, a born leader, and yet thoughtful and kind. No one could tell a story like Bill. We remember those years so fondly and will miss him so much.Our sincere condolences. Bob and Eugenia Cairns

Gail Cunningham - June 7, 2019

Sorry for your loss. Mr Ramsay was a great teacher always smiling and having a laugh with his students. His love of music and his students showed he made the time for each and everyone of us.Gail Cunningham

Brian Scholfield - June 7, 2019 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation

Brian Scholfield - June 7, 2019

If we are lucky, there are a few people in each of our lives that seem to have an incredibly positive effect on us and, although we may not keep in touch over the years, continue to influence us and, in effect, guide us. I count myself fortunate to include Bill as one of those people who have influenced my life. Many great memories for all who knew Bill. Thanks (to Bill) and my sympathies to Lynn, Rick, Rachel and family.

Janice Cherry Bower - June 7, 2019

Mr. Ramsay was one of the major high lights of my high school years. I looked forward to his class, belonging to the school bands and playing for the musicals guided by him. He loaned me a trumpet for a summer and gave me a piece of music to learn as a solo for a concert. He really helped build my confidence. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

Alma and George Beston - June 7, 2019

Dear Lynn and Family,Bill has been promoted to the big choir and band in the Kingdom of Heaven, free from his trials on earth! We rejoice with so many others for his musical gifts and talents so wonderfully shared, especially at Trinity United Cobourg. The peace of Christ is with you,Alma and George

Arlis O’Neill - June 6, 2019

Sending all my love and thoughts to all, during this sad time. Like all of Mr. Ramsay’s ( yes he’s still Mr Ramsay) students I have such fond memories of music class, Musicals, visits to the house and a Weekend at the cottage. Amongst all the fun he also gave me some great advice that I still carry with me today!

Darlene Hopkins - June 6, 2019

My heart is filled with warmth when I think of Mr Ramsey, who was my favourite teacher ever.He had such a wonderful way of teaching to every student. I think of him frequently and smile at my special thoughts of this incredible man.My deepest and sincere condolences.

Paul Sweet - June 6, 2019

Bill left lasting impressions on so many of us in high school. I will never forget that big smile and bounce in his step every time he came in the music room.My deepest condolences to all his family. You are in my thoughts and those great times during that period of our lives.Paul

Jim & Linda MacDonald - June 6, 2019

So sorry to hear of Bill’s paying, Lynn. We are in Texas and won’t make it home in time for the funeral, you will all be in our thoughts and prayers.

Vicky Noel - June 6, 2019

Lynn, Rick, Rachel and family. I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Ramsay passing away. I was actually thinking about him today. He was such a great person and teacher. I enjoyed my visit with him a while ago. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time. (Vicky Noel (nee Spence). RIP Sir.

Doreen Curtis - June 6, 2019

Dear LynnPlease accept my sincere condolences. It is very sad to lose the love of your life. You are in my thoughts and prayers Doreen

Carol and Tony Farren - June 6, 2019

Lynn we are so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He was a great guy and made a huge difference in the lives of many of the young people he encountered at school and in the band. We know you will miss him terribly as you were not only husband and wife but very good friends. Our deepest sympathy.Sincerely Tony and Carol

Barbara Marian - June 6, 2019

Mr. Ramsay was my favourite teacher of all time. I am the person that I am now, in part, because of his wisdom, his teaching, his enthusiasm and his zest for music and life in general. Thank you for all that you have done. I'm sure you're already leading the choir in heaven. Barbara Marian (nee Winter, CDCI East, class of 1980)