March 18, 1941 – February 2, 2021
Rebecca Ramirez, 79, passed away peacefully on February 2nd, 2021 due to complications of COVID-19.
Rebecca was born on March 18th, 1941 in Corsicana, Texas, to parents Arturo and Rosa Ramirez. She grew up primarily in the Fort Worth area alongside 9 siblings. Rebecca graduated from Technical High School in 1959 and continued her education at Hardin-Simmons University, graduating with a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1966.
Her career as a kindergarten teacher began in Anaheim, California before continuing in San Antonio, TX, while she pursued her Masters Degree in Mid Management at The University of Texas, San Antonio (graduating in 1979).
In 1982, she returned to Fort Worth to serve as principal of Washington Heights Elementary School until her retirement in 2001. During her tenure, Washington Heights was recognized as an exemplary bilingual school for two years. Praised in the community for her leadership and commitment to her students and teachers. Rebecca was a dedicated educator as well as an active member of the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas and the Hardin-Simmons Alumni Committee.
Rebecca was a remarkable woman who lived a life filled with passion and courageously forged her own path. She enjoyed entertaining family and friends at her home, gardening, traveling, and politics. She was a great dog lover, and her chihuahua, Princess, was one of the joys of her life.
Rebecca will be greatly missed for her generosity, love and devotion to her family and champion for bilingual education. Her laughter and feisty spirit will be forever cherished. She is preceded in death by her parents Arturo and Rosa Ramirez, brothers, Anselmo (Sam) Castillo and Gregory Castillo, sister, Ruth Blanco, nephews, Juan Blanco Jr. and Ernest Castillo, niece, Patricia Castillo. She is survived by her siblings, Elizabeth Soto and husband Jesse, Maria Espinoza and husband John, Magdalena Castillo, Rosalee Martinez, Martha Olguin and husband Ralph and Samuel Ramirez as well as many nieces, nephews and countless beloved friends.
A socially distanced visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23th between 4pm-8pm at Laurel Land Funeral Home on 7100 Crowley Road 76134 in Fort Worth, Texas. The burial will take place Wednesday, February 24th at 10:00 am at the same location. Masks will be required at both services. Laurel Land can be reached at 817-293-1350 or www.laurellandfuneralhome.com
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
February 23, 2021
I have had the honor and pleasure of working under the leadership of an amazing educator, Rebecca Ramirez, Principal at Washington Heights Elementary in FWISD. She hired me for the position of Instructional Specialist in 1996. She was a true mentor, an advocate and a friend. I remember how she encouraged me to become a principal, insisting the school district needed leaders with a background in bilingual education, gifted&talented education and special education. She wrote a recommendation for me to participate in the Educational Leadership program at UTA. That was 25 years ago. And as they say, “the rest is history!” She encouraged and inspired so many teachers to step up to the great challenge of educational leadership!
I am truly grateful for her leadership and her friendship!
Rest In Peace Ms. Ramírez!!
February 23, 2021
I am so sorry I am not able to be in Fort Worth to say goodbye to Aunt Rebecca. I have many fond memories of her and the times we spent together as a family. Rest In Peace, Aunt Rebecca ❤️
February 22, 2021
My Aunt Rebecca was fierce. She was the only person to stand toe to toe with my dad when discussing politics or anything else under the sun.
I remember one time in the early seventies we were watching the Cowboys in a playoff game on TV. My Aunt Rebecca came over and immediately started chanting Chicano Power, Chicano Power!!! It was on!!! We ended up turning off the TV to watch my Dad’s and Aunt Rebecca’s discussion. That was more entertaining than watching the Cowboys.
What I appreciated the most about Aunt Rebecca, and all of my aunts and Uncle Samuel was my nickname “Chema”. My cousin John Blanco was Papi, Yvonne was Tuti and I was Chema. I loved my nickname because it meant to me that I would always be loved unconditionally no matter what I did.
I regret never being able to express how much the nickname meant to me.
Rest In Peace, Aunt Rebecca
February 22, 2021
Rebecca is remembered by many for her dedication and devotion to young children. She should also be remembered for her participation in the Mexican American College Education Fund. She was one of the original founders and always encouraged young men and women to pursue a degree in higher education. We have many educators in the Ramirez and , sadly, today have one less. She certainly leaves a stellar legacy.
February 22, 2021
They say first impressions are everything and in my case I must have made a good one because Ms. Ramirez hired me over the phone, without having met. She then convinced me to come to Ft. Worth from El Paso for a formal interview. I accepted because it was clear to me even then, that you just did not say no to her. I had the privilege to work alongside her at Washington Heights . At 26, you don’t know much, but I knew I was in her good graces when I earned the honor of being called “comadre”. She expected the best from everyone, knew her staff , their families and every child by name , “like the back of her hand” as was one of her famous sayings. She was a force to be reckoned with and gave you a good regañada when you deserved it , but she always left you better than when you came. On Friday afternoons, if you dared to walk by her office, then you had better be prepared to have a few hours to spare. This is by far one of the things I will cherish most, the conversations that lasted for hours. Not so long ago, we spoke, as we did throughout the years and talked about us and the Washington Heights days. I’m honored for this privilege, to have shared an unlikely friendship , and to have learned invaluable lessons that have impacted my career and my life. I will never forget her and am forever grateful to her for opening a door when so many didn’t. In my heart I will always carry the advice, memories and lessons of a remarkable woman and educator . Until we speak again, I will miss you.
February 21, 2021
To all of Ms. Ramirez’s loved ones,
I had the privilege of being hired for my first teaching assignment by Ms. Ramirez in 1990. She chose me at a FWISD Hiring Fair to be a bilingual Kindergarten teacher at Washington Heights where we worked together until her retirement. Having taught there as a Kindergarten teacher earlier in her career, Ms. Ramirez would often share stories about when the school had been above ground, and her Kindergarten classroom had been located above her principal’s office. She had a huge heart for kids, and I truly learned a lot from her, both as a teacher and a campus leader. She empowered me to be the educator that I am today, and I will be forever grateful to her. I am saddened to hear of her passing, but I know that she lived a full life surrounded by her family. She spoke highly and affectionately of her “m’hijos and m’hijas” despite not having any children of her own. I could always count on her sharing stories about you all, her family. I am sending you my deepest condolences, as I am not able to attend the services for her. I know that she would understand my absence due to the well-being of my 84 year old mother who lives with me. Ms. Ramirez, Rest In Peace and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
February 21, 2021
Love you Aunt Rebecca....
February 19, 2021
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Mrs. Ramirez. She was my principal at Washington Heights. She helped me a lot. She loved her profession. I will always remember her with affection and that God may keep her in his saintly kingdom. I would love to accompany y'all, but I am too old to go.
February 16, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family. Rest in peace. Alice Steen
February 15, 2021
The first person I worked for in Fort Worth, Rebecca Ramirez died. She was a strong, big lady. She made you work hard. Many people couldn’t work for her because of her high expectations. My first day in FWISD was as a substitute teacher at her school Washington Heights Elementary.
That day she came into to my classroom. I was very nervous as she sat in the back of the classroom making faces. She sat for about an hour and got up and told me to see her at her office after class was dismissed. I was like ohh well it didn’t work out. I went to visit with her and she said I want you to teach for me full time. I was like I can’t; I am still working on my certification. She asked who my professors at the University were. She said you will learn much more from me than from them. I will call them and get it straightened out. I worked for her for four years until I moved on for a promotion. She wasn’t very happy. Little did she know that the next 26 years of me being an assistant principal, principal, and school board member were because of her. Many of her teachers became principals because of her. RIP Jefa
February 11, 2021
Remembering Aunt Rebecca, always with a smile and a loving hug. May you rest in peace and you will be forever in our hearts.