February 21, 1947 – February 16, 2021
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Patricia Ramsey Ware. Patricia passed away after a very hard battle with pancreatic cancer. She was able to be in her home of almost 40 years, in her top-story bedroom overlooking the farm until her passing. She was surrounded by her husband Harvey, and her family who lovingly cared for her with respect and compassion. She passed away on February 16th, 2021, just five days short of her 74th birthday.
Patricia was the firstborn of Jack and Lorraine Ramsey, she had a true first-born temperament: stubborn, headstrong, and intelligent.
As a child, while living in the Gila Valley, Patty had very long hair always pulled back in very tight, braids that at one point reached her waist, when she very quietly took the scissors went into the closet and came out with her hair lobbed off at her braid, and defined her future as an independent, take action type. It could be at this point the hairstyle obsession must have begun. Patty graduated from Yuma High, at her graduation ceremony her mother and father were there in the crowd watching, when Patty walked the line to receive her diploma they were confused and barely recognized the black-haired graduate with bright red shoes as Patty! Another moment of independence, a shake your head moment for Mom and Dad, but that was Patty. It was not a surprise that she went to beauty school to learn hairstyling, she had a knack for it, and continued to color her hair throughout her entire life.
She met and married Billy Joe Ware in 1965 and they worked on the farm. She soon had a daughter Jodie, followed shortly by a son, Gary Jack, and then William James her youngest, who was born very premature, his survival was a blessing. She was a farm wife and mother living in a home on the farm in Dome Valley. When Patty turned 27, she decided to pursue a degree in nursing at Arizona Western College while raising three kids. In 1976 she received her pinning as a Registered Nurse and started working at the hospital, she wore a name tag that said "Patricia Ware R.N." which immediately became a joke to her husband Billy and her dad, they determined that the R.N. stood for "Running Nut", after all the hard work that was not at all funny to her.
During her nursing career she was a school nurse, a hospital floor nurse, a surgical nurse, and the main part of her nursing career was spent in the ER. Patty loved the ER, the crazier the better. She loved the challenge and the constant change it brought. She continued her education and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Phoenix in 1994.
Sadly in 1981 she became a widow with her three children, she continued running the farm and raising her children. In 1983 she met and married Harvey Croutch in a ceremony held in the Gila Valley at her sister Gina's home. Her family and friends attended and her children were part of the wedding.
During her years after leaving nursing she was on the board for the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Board. Her leadership in bringing to reality the vision of a beautifully restored riverfront in Yuma, Arizona was a great accomplishment to her, she truly was instrumental in making the Yuma crossing a thing of beauty.
Patty studied and loved the Catholic religion, she was sponsored and took part in classes to become a Catholic, it took a two-year dedication on her part but she found the rituals and peace of the Catholic Church and the study of the catholic faith very interesting and comforting. Patricia was also on the Hospital District governing board, which she served on for years until her vision problems made it impossible to do her job. She was also on the Wellton Mohawk Irrigation Drainage District Board of Directors for years as one of the first women to do so, until health issues interfered.
Patricia also enjoyed her family, her youngest son William and grandson Jacob carry on the 5th generation of a farm family.
She was devastated when in 2014 her son, Gary died after an illness, she never fully recovered from that terrible loss. Her friend Claudia Rico was very instrumental in Gary's care and she became family to Patty after that. She loved her three children, Jodie Reeder, Gary Ware, and William Ware. She was also was blessed with four grandchildren, Alyssa Ware, Megan Laster, Chelsea Gray and Jacob Ware and three great-grandchildren, Sophy Gray, Everlee Laster, and newborn Melody Gray made her arrival on February 8th.
Patty was headstrong, devoted, and in her lifetime fought so many battles and hardships, deaths, floods, illness, and was always there for her family. Always the first to fight for any threat to her family, she never backed down. She loved country music and she loved to dance with her husband Harvey. Patty could knit, crochet, sew and anything she read, she remembered. She was never still, always in motion learning, always had a good argument for things she deemed wrong or unfair. In another life she could have, no doubt, been an attorney, she loved facts and had a vocabulary and memory that proved lethal to her opponents.
Patricia is preceded in death by her Mother and Father Jack and Lorraine Ramsey, her husband Billy Ware, her son Gary Ware, her sister Gina Arias, her brother-in-law Ernie Arias, her nephew Matthew Riesland and most recently her daughter-in-law Heather Ware. All of whom she grieved deeply over.
Patricia is survived by her Husband Harvey Croutch, her daughter Jodie Reeder, her son William Ware, her granddaughters Alyssa Ware, Megan Laster (Luke), Chelsea Gray (Scott), her grandson Jacob Ware (Lexi), her great grand Daughters Sophie, Everlee and Melody, her sister Jackie Riesland (John), and her nieces and nephews, Dawn, Shannon (Bobby), Jillian (Justin), Joshua (Melissa), Dar and Sunnie Shephard and Nick and Rhiannon Lopez. All of whom played a powerful and loving role in her life but especially in her last days, the depth of their help and care was incredible.
Pallbearers: Tom Buhl, Scott Gray, Chris Mitchell, Bobby Pope, Russell Reeder, Jacob Ware.
Honorary Pallbearers: Aaron Croutch, Justin Croutch, Nick Lopez, James McWilliams, John Riesland, Joshua Riesland.
Patricia will have a private service with her family and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Humane Society of Yuma this would be a kind gesture as her adopted Great Dane "Blue" brought her great comfort and love.
- Harvey Croutch, Spouse
- William Ware, Son
- Jack Ramsey, Father (deceased)
- Lorraine Case, Mother (deceased)
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Hugh & Kitti Winderweedle
February 23, 2021
To the Croutch Family, you're in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
February 22, 2021
I was so sad to hear of Patricia leaving us. She was such a joy to work with and a champion of making Yuma a better place, most of all I enjoyed all of my visits and dinners with Harvey and Patricia when working in Yuma. Her tenacious can do spirit, stories and radiant smile will be missed sorely. Patty knew i played music and asked me for years to play her Me and Bobby McGee, i'm so glad I finally did and will always cherish that moment. God Speed Patricia you were one of the best
Pam & Earl McWilliams
February 21, 2021
Our hearts are with your family at this sad time. She will be sorely missed. Sincerely, Pam & Earl McWilliams
February 21, 2021
Patty was such a very special person and a true friend. She gave all she could to her family, the community and to her friends. I will miss her so much.
February 21, 2021
Patty represented the very best that Yuma has to offer. A strong, caring woman who managed her farm well and yet devoted time to help the community. I will be forever grateful for her service on the Board of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. We would not have been so successful without her support. Godspeed, Patty!
February 17, 2021
Harvey, My condolences to you and the family. Enjoyed working with both you and Patty....years ago!! Hugs and Kisses...She was a remarkable person. I'll never forget her. Connie