Dr. B. Gene Ramsey

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Dr. B. Gene Ramsey, 74, of Cape Girardeau passed away peacefully at his home Monday, Aug. 1, 2005, after a brief battle with cancer.

He was born Aug. 15, 1930, in Springfield, Mo., son of Francis Eugene and Bessie Helen Murphy Ramsey.

Gene spent his early childhood in Springfield. Later he lived in Massachusetts, Virginia and Delaware until his family settled in Jackson, Miss. There he attended Hinds Junior College.

He volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps in 1951 and served in Korea during the Korean Conflict.

After his discharge he attended Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., where he graduated in 1955 with a bachelor of arts degree. After teaching in Mississippi and Northern California, he received a master's degree from the University of Mississippi and enrolled in the doctoral program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

He took a hiatus from his studies and taught in France and Germany five years in the U.S. Department of Defense schools. While in France, he met his future wife, Luitgard Dorothea Basse. They were married in Hanover, Germany, in 1963.

Gene finished his course work at Brigham Young University in 1967, and received a Ph.D. in history in 1972.

He began his university teaching career in the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University in 1967. His favorite courses dealt with the study of frontier and western history. Gene served on the faculty senate and on numerous university committees. He was named interim dean of the College of Social Sciences and served as chairperson of the history department five years. He retired from teaching in 1997 as professor emeritus.

Apart from western history, Gene's great passions involved the outdoors. He was looking forward to passing his skills and knowledge on to his grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing with his dogs and other family pets.

Many summer vacations were spent with his family following the trails of trappers, explorers, and early settlers to the west. His students benefited from the personal experiences he gained from these travels.

Gene is survived by his wife Luitgard; three daughters, Suzanne (Mark) Haubein of Columbia, Ill., Pamela and Stephanie Ramsey of Denver, Colo.; three grandchildren, Sienna, Cailyn and Luke Haubein; and a sister, Rosita Ramsey of Shell Knob, Mo.

His parents and a brother preceded him in death.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 15 at Ford and Sons Funeral Home on Mount Auburn Road.

Memorials may be made to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation for the Conservation Campus Nature Center.