Rich Ramirez’s unexpected death June 20 drew an outpouring of grief and fond reminiscing from friends and colleagues around the country, the Merc’s Brandon Bailey writes.
- In his 23 years at the Mercury News, where he was known for his wry smile and gentle manners, Ramirez held several positions as a reporter and editor. At times over the past 12 years his duties included sometimes thankless tasks, such as putting together a newsroom budget and dealing — always politely — with reader complaints.
“He was always willing to do for the paper what other people weren’t willing to do,” said Jerry Ceppos, former Mercury News executive editor who at one time was Ramirez’s boss.
Ramirez always took great pride in the paper, said his wife, Janet Dalke. He was an avid bicyclist who also loved swimming, photography and their fox terrier, “Bailey.” He was passionately devoted to his alma mater, the University of Southern California. But Dalke said work was a major focus of his life.
Although somewhat reserved by nature, Ramirez did not stay hidden in his cubicle. He organized community outreach efforts for the newspaper and also maintained a network of contacts throughout the journalism world.
Services will begin at noon Thursday at First Unitarian Church, 160 N. Third St., San Jose. Donations may be sent to the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, in care of Josh Larsen, 3502 Watt Way, Suite 304, Los Angeles, 90089, or call (213) 821-1660 for information.