Ramona Marquitta Rouse
Passed away on January 4, 2020
Celebration of Ramona’s Life
It is with heavy hearts that the family of Ramona Marquitta Rouse wishes to inform the community of Ramona’s sudden passing on Saturday, January 4th 2020 at her home in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Ramona was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 15th to Dorothy May Rouse and raised in the Old Town and Lincoln Square neighborhoods, the latter which she resided in for 40 years at the time of her transition. She is survived by her two children, Michael Jovan Rouse Simmons-Gessesse, and Aina-soe Rouse Cambridge, both of Chicago, her mother Dorothy Rouse-Harrison, sister Consuwella Rouse-Tennison, and niece Della Rouse, of Lakewood California, and two brothers Samuel Harrison and Albert Harrison, sisters-in-laws Tammy Tennison and Mary Harrison, devoted puppy Sasha, and a host of long-time friends and cousins she grew up with and their children and grandchildren, all of Chicago.
Ramona graduated from Immaculate Conception Grammar School, Lincoln Park High School, and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from National Louis University at the age of 41 – the same year her son would finish his degree at Amherst College. She also completed beauty and cosmetology school at Pivot Point Academy. She loved doing hair and began work as a stylist at Carissima of Italy and Salon 2000 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, then completed the Women’s Self-Employment Project, and at the age of 31 opened up her own salon in Rogers Park, Salon Pastiche, specializing in conservative hair care services. There she built a robust clientele and provided exceptional service to a diverse roster of clients. Ramona serviced neighborhood residents, nearby Loyola students, and even the occasional celebrity, such as Deion Sanders and the late South African singer Miriam Makeba. Miriam was so happy with her hair that she gave Ramona tickets to see her in concert.
Ramona liked adventure and often would skip off as a young girl on her bike or with her friends and later on traveled the world with her son. She loved Paris, Copenhagen, and the Swiss Alps, at which she made it to the top of Mt. Titlis at 10,000 feet in early October 2019 just three months before her transition. She wanted to conquer her fears and she did it consistently throughout her life, whether it was in raising two children against all the odds or going to the top of her first mountain. She loved to travel – recently she’d seen Mexico for the second time, and travelled through Denmark and Switzerland with her son – and loved live music, dancing, doing hair, caring for people, nurturing those around her, cooking for her children, spending time with her family, decorating, long walks, reading, art, children, giving people the benefit of the doubt, volunteering on campaigns, and when she was younger, roller skating, tap dancing, and modeling. Just last week she said that her favorite place she’d visited so far was Copenhagen and said she would have moved there had she seen it in her earlier years because of the freedom she saw there. She enjoyed going on long walks with her son while in Copenhagen and watching the bike traffic go by while vacationing there last September for her most recent birthday. A group of new Danish friends she met through her son even prepared her a special dinner, which she so enjoyed! She sat down and wrote a family recipe for African-American smothered potatoes and gave it to them, thus introducing our culture into Scandinavia!
Most of all, Ramona loved her son and daughter. She did everything for them including providing them unconditional love and the best education growing up, and an open heart and lots of delicious home-cooked meals to them both as adult kids. She supported her children’s decisions and wanted them to be independent and free. All she insisted is they do it with heart and do it with integrity – she would say, “Make it happen!” She instilled in them a keen sense of right and wrong. They both will miss her terribly but will continue to live by her example and spread her light in their own lives.
Ramona’s Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at Drake & Son Funeral Home, located at 5303 N. Western Ave., Chicago, Illinois. The program will begin at 11am. Ramona was a vibrant soul and all are encouraged to dress comfortably and in bright colors as we celebrate her transition!
- Memorial Service Sunday, January 12, 2020
- Repass to follow Sunday, January 12, 2020
Ramona Marquitta Rouse
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January 12, 2020
I first met Mona back in 2006 through her brother, Sam. She was nothing but pleasant and was very welcoming towards me. She was a great hairstylist, very friendly and whenever I ran into her in the neighborhood she always seemed genuinely happy to see me. I remember feeling good energy and laughter the times that I have been around her and I am so heartbroken by her passing. I will keep this family in my prayers as I know that this must be a devastating loss for you all. Rest peacefully Mona.
January 7, 2020
I have too many memories of hanging out with Mona. We had so much fun and got into so much trouble as teenagers. We reconnected when Grammy babysat my son and her grand daughter Ina. We truly grew up together. Mona you will be missed.
Dorothy, Connie, Sam, Albert, Michael, and Ina you are in our prayers.
Ricky, Sheila, Marcus & Alexis