First Memorial Funeral Services & Boal Chapel and Memorial Gardens
1505 Lillooet Road, North Vancouver, BC
Miles Carlton Ramsay
December 17, 1941 – June 19, 2020
Miles Carlton Ramsay passed away peacefully on June 19, 2020, at the age of 78. Predeceased by his son Ethan and brother Tim, Miles will be lovingly remembered by his wife Corlynn, his 5 children Shawn (Michael) Johnson, Shelly (Michael) Zamarripa-Ramsay, Angela Hartley, Sara (Steve) Ramsay, and Josh (Amanda) Ramsay, and his brother Jay (Lori), as well as his grandchildren John, Margo, Molly, Annie, Talia, Monty, Chloe, and Rachel, and great-grandchildren Lauren and Cash.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time (TBA), once it is safe to gather in groups again and Americans can once more travel to Canada. If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association at https://www.lbda.org/donate or click link below.
Miles Ramsay was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C in 1941. He could sing before he could talk, and his mom Billie, a singer and dancer herself, taught her boys to sing in 3-part in harmony from the time they were just little tykes. His family moved around a fair bit, but ultimately settled in California. He attended Cal State University and UCLA, majoring in music with a minor in English. Before finishing his courses he spent the next chapter of life criss-crossing the United States as the lead singer and drummer in a lounge band.
Miles settled in Vancouver in the mid-sixties, where he began working regularly with the CBC on productions including the Let’s Go Show, Up Up and Away, and singing with the Numerality Singers. It wasn’t long before he had his own radio show on CBC with the Dave Robbins Big Band, aptly named The Miles Ramsay Show. He filmed a TV special, and released an album from his show called Take Off For Miles. (https://bit.ly/2X1yfLK)
He formed a partnership with Brian Gibson & Brian Griffiths in this same time period, and the three produced more than four thousand jingles, TV themes, movie scores and event themes for their world-wide clientele during the four decades of their partnership. Along the way they built Vancouver’s legendary Little Mountain Sound Company recording studios.
Along with this great partnership was the basis of great friendship. Miles, Brian (Griff) Griffiths and Brian (Hoot) Gibson were the best of friends and the core of their very close knit group of friends. Their children grew up together spending holidays and family vacations together, and now their children’s children are also close. Miles was definitely the jokester of the group and often provided the comedic relief. This extended family shared the highest of highs and the lowest of lows together and remain close to this day.
Miles’ most famous composition is the Great Root Bear theme for A&W, which has been played by every high school tuba player since 1973. There have been many others along the way, including the theme for the 1988 Calgary Olympics.
Miles has been a choral singer virtually all his life, lending his vocal talents to the Roger Wagner Chorale, The Little Mountain Singers, Phoenix Chamber Choir, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and others. He has also arranged countless classics for choirs literally all over the world, many of which were ultimately published by Cypress Choral Publishing (https://bit.ly/3jNBYpW). The annual Ramsay Family Christmas Card that Miles arranged and recorded with Corlynn, Josh, and Sara, became a much anticipated highlight of the year amongst friends, and many of the arrangements he wrote for his family went on to be performed by choirs who didn’t just record in the basement. (https://bit.ly/3jKbR3o)
In the mid-80s, Miles became the spokesman for Chevron, embarking on a roughly 20 year journey as “the Chevron Man.” BC residents remember him fondly as the affable and funny guy at the pump, set against a white background. More than a handful of people asked Miles over the years if they could borrow that sequined jacket from the Supremes spot, but sadly, he didn’t get to keep those sequins in his personal closet. (https://bit.ly/306VshL) He co-starred as Oscar Madison, along with Norm Grohmann, in the Arts Club Theater production of “The Odd Couple” In 2000, which was directed by Bill Millerd and enjoyed over 100 sold-out performances. In 2002 he was co-star (Horace Vandergelder) of the Royal City Theater production of “Hello Dolly”, playing opposite Ruth Nichol, and directed by Ed Harris with 22 sold-out performances.
In 2003 Miles retired from Griffiths Gibson & Ramsay Productions, hopped on the 200-foot tall ship Picton Castle, and sailed around the world. The voyage took a year, and Miles described it as the adventure of a lifetime. Upon his return he threw himself back into choral music and completed several choral arrangements, and two additional European tours with Phoenix Chamber Choir. He retired from active choral singing in 2017.
In 2010, Miles was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, recognized as an Entertainment Pioneer.
In 2016, the love of his life, Corlynn, went into full time nursing care, as her battle with Lewy Body Dementia continued. Nothing made him happier than being able to spend his last 7 months once again sharing a room with her.
To most, he is remembered as a hall of fame entertainer, singer, writer, actor and performer. To those who knew him, he is remembered for his fantastic sense of humor, his amazing story telling, compassion and friendship. To his children, he will always be missed as their wonderful father.
Miles’ granddaughter Molly summed it up beautifully: “There aren’t any words to truly represent the impact my grandpa had on the world. He was a storyteller, a musician, a brother, a father, a grandfather and an inspiration to many. Grampa, thank you for showing me that life is simple - all you need is love, family and a good cheeseburger. I love you and will miss you dearly.”
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.firstmemorialnorthvancouver.com for the Ramsay family.
- Lewy Body Dementia Association
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Miles Carlton Ramsay
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
July 28, 2020
Working with Miles on any commercial was about as much fun as you could ever hope to have. Whether it was collaborating in writing the spot, his producing or voicing or arranging the music, you knew you were dealing with the best. And along the way, you would enjoy more stories and laughs than you could ever imagine. A kind, gentle, caring man, your presence will be sorely missed by all Miles.
July 27, 2020
In a session many years back, Miles and I became punchy - something hit us so ridiculously daffy that we lost it. I looked at him as he wiped his eyes and asked "And we're actually getting paid to do this?""Dummy up, Lemm, none of them are wise to us." On a more important note, Miles was extremely helpful to me with a personal problem - his understanding and encouragement will never be forgotten.
July 27, 2020
Very hard to sum this great man up. He was one of the funniest nicest talented hard working men I knew. And I have to thank him from the bottom of my heart for his guidance and wisdom imparted to me in my early years at Little Mountain Sound. He could of just ignored me for the peon I was, but no ... I became part of his family (along with Griff and Hoot and everyone at GGRP) and under his wing I was allowed to grow. I am so grateful to have spent those years with him. Good night Miles Ramsay, you will forever be in my heart.
July 27, 2020
Miles, Mr. Ramsay to me, was my boss for years at GGRP. He was intimidating as hell, talented as hell, funny and sardonic. In many ways, I fashioned the man I was to become based on Mi....Mr. Ramsay. He was old skool cool all the way and I admired him more than he ever knew. What a real shame that we can’t all get in the same room and honor him in the proper way. I’m starting to cry....I gotta go. Sorry
July 27, 2020
You never quite know how to put into words how someone affected your life after they are gone. For me, Miles was a figment of my imagination for the first 15 years of my life. We spent the rest of my 57 years getting to know each other and making up for lost time. And we made it up in grand style. Over the years we shared many great moments and in time he became, my dad. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact day or event when that actually occurred, it just did. I will be forever grateful that we took the time to do that. He was gracious, kind, smart and always made me laugh. We did it dad! Rest in paradise. Love you
July 25, 2020
Remembering with gratitude the encouragement from Miles . I was a back-up baritone in Chorus Gentlemen and occasional singer in Numerality.. Working with him was a wonderful experience and it's good to be able to remember those days.
July 16, 2020
I had the pleasure of working with Miles on many music recording sessions and comedic commercial production projects during my tenure at Little Mountain Sound, and in my own studios with my partner Dick Abbott from 1976 till about 2000. He was such a talented writer, producer, singer and actor - a very funny man, and always had an anecdote to share and kept us smiling during our work.
My sincere condolences to the family, several of whom I know and worked with over the years. I remember him telling me that he was a grandfather and I believe it was when he was forty.
They are all wonderful, memorable years
July 16, 2020
My sincerest condolences to your family. I shared the stage with Miles in the Arts Club's production of The Odd Couple. It was one of the most successful productions I have ever been involved with. He was a kind and extremely generous man...not to mention very funny. My heart goes out to you and yours. May you find solace soon.
June 25, 2020
Miles was a oner! A true talent, Renaissance man and dear friend. Stories, laughs and memories to fondly recall forever. Will miss you, pal.
Phil La Borie
June 25, 2020
I worked with miles for many years. As a freelance writer, I always found him to be supportive, insightful and creative.
His guidance in producing my projects was always thoughtful and inventive.
His friendship was genuine and caring.
His passing has left me greatly saddened.
So long, pal.
It was a honor to have worked with you.