Ysidro “Sidro” Ramirez
Ysidro Ramirez, born May 15, 1921, in Pearce, Arizona, to Angel Rosario Ramirez and Felipa Ramirez, went to meet our Lord on January 24, 2013, in Antioch, CA. He died peacefully surrounded by two of his sisters, Clara and Stevie, nieces, nephews, and many other members of his loving family. In December, his doctors in Tucson had told him there was no more hope, the cancer was too advanced. But he still had hope, he just wouldn’t give up, so he decided to seek help from doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Again, after various tests and examinations by VA and private doctors, the results were the same, the cancer had metastasized. Ysidro was a beloved and respected son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend who will be remembered for his kindness, soft smile, great love of the earth and hard work. He was a quiet and humble man, yet strong and stoic. He was a respected mentor to many people, and a man who lived peacefully with his family and his environment.
At the age of 21, Ysidro was called to serve his country. He was drafted into the United States Army, serving in World War II, from 1942 – 1945. He was a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving most of his military stint in Birmingham, England. He was involved in the “Birmingham Blitz,” a name given to the heavy bombing of the city of Birmingham by the Nazi German Luftwaffe that ended in April of 1943. (There were approximately 2,000 tons of bombs dropped on Birmingham over a three-year period.) Ysidro really wanted to go to the front lines to fight the Nazis, but when his orders came the war was almost over. He then petitioned to go to the South Pacific Theatre to fight the Japanese, but when his orders were approved, the Japanese surrendered.
Ysidro’s family is considered a pioneer family living in the Sulphur Springs Valley Area for at least a century now. Ysidro was a lifetime resident of McNeal, Arizona, where he attended school up to the 8th grade. He was the sixth of fifteen children. He was the son of immigrants from Aguas Calientes, Mexico. His parents and other members of his family came to the United States, in 1915, fleeing from the Mexican Revolution that was raging on at that time. Because there were some family members already living in the Sulphur Springs Valley Area, Ysidro’s family also settled there. Early on, with great effort and much hard work, the family was able to buy their own land and continue doing what they knew best and loved, that was farming. For centuries, his family had been farmers in Mexico, so that’s what they continued doing in the United States. So, Ysidro too, was an avid and prosperous farmer, who loved farming the land where he was raised. On the farm there was plenty of cotton to go to the cotton gin, and green chili for the Del Monte Chili Plant in El Paso. There was alfalfa for the cattle, and plenty of fruits & vegetables, including tomatoes, corn, squash, cantaloupes, and watermelons. Most of these crops were sold to people or businesses in the surrounding area, either shipped out or customers went to buy the produce directly from the Ramirez Family “farmer’s market.”
Besides being able to work with his tractor, there were many other skills required, many not done by machines. Ysidro was not only a fast cotton-picker, picking 4oo pounds a day, but was one of the best red chile “Ristra” makers, building 30 ristras, 16 feet long, per day. Chile has been grown in the Americas for thousands of years. The ristra process is for the purpose of sun drying the chile, a very old process. Ysidro was also a hunting aficionado. He grew up doing his share of hunting, especially deer hunting. He was a sharp-shooter, his game was to go deer hunting with only one bullet in his rifle, that was his challenge, and he always got his deer with a single shot and the deer had to be “on the run.” Among his other favorite pastimes was making tomahawks and bowls out of rocks. He used the ancient method of chipping the rock to form what he wanted. So often you would hear the “chip” “chip” sound, a sound that seemed to give him much peace and pleasure. Something else that not too many people knew about him was his great love for animals; he especially had a unique affection for cats. He took great care of his cats and enjoyed playing with them.
Ysidro tended to get away from the farm for periods of time exercising his expertise as a well driller. He worked as a well driller for the McBee Drilling Company, drilling wells in Arizona and in New Mexico. He also worked for another company out of El Paso that was linked to a Catholic Charity that sent him to drill wells for the Tarahumara Natives in Chihuahua, Mexico. Caborca, Sonora, was another destination where he worked drilling wells and in its surrounding area. In Caborca, he worked for 2 cousins, Cruz and Raymundo Ramirez, who ran the Ramirez Drilling Company. He did this off and on for approximately ten years.
Ysidro is preceded in death by his parents, Angel Rosario Ramirez and Felipa Ramirez, brothers: Lorenzo, Luciano, Richard, David, Marcelo and Louie. He is survived by five sisters: Bell (Douglas) Latting of Huachuca City, AZ; Clara (Robert) Swift of Tucson AZ; Estefan Virden of Antioch, CA; Petra (Ray) Fernandez of Tucson, AZ. and Mercedes (Rob) Rivera of Thatcher AZ. Surviving brothers are: Martin (Anita) Ramirez of Pirtleville, AZ.; Pete (Maria Elena) Ramirez of Pirteville AZ.; Joe Ramirez of McNeal AZ.; Vincent Ramirez of Huachuca City, AZ.; Angelo (Sandy) Ramirez of Fresno, CA and Thomas (Socorro) Ramirez of Tucson, AZ. He also is survived by approximately 75 nieces and nephews. Ysidro was very blessed to have a brother-in-law, Robert Swift, who was his caregiver in his time of need.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 1, 2013, from 1:00-9:00 p.m. with Pastoral Prayer and Eulogies being held at 5:00 p.m. at the Brown Page Mortuary Chapel, 901 N. “F” Avenue, Douglas AZ. A Rosary service followed by A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4110 W. Jefferson, Elfrida, AZ, 85610, with Father Jose Padilla officiating. Burial will follow at McNeal Cemetery, Davis Road, McNeal, AZ.
Pallbearers who will serve are; Ysidro Ryan Swift, Aaron Swift, Raymond Ramirez, Claudio Ramirez, David Virden, Michael Ben Ramirez and Mark Ramirez. Honorary Pallbearers are; Edgar Ramirez, John Curiel and Gerald Miguez, Mitch Swift, Robert Swift, Pete Ramirez, Joe Ramirez, Larry Ramirez, Martin Ramirez and Ralphy Ramirez.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers please donate to a Cancer Organization.
Brown Page Mortuary is in charge of arrangements, 364-3434