Ellen Ramp, 71. Retired Education Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, Ellen Ramp, passed away peacefully at her home early Sunday morning, April 25, 2021.
Ellen Matheson grew up in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, the child of John and Mary Beth Matheson, surrounded by family, friends, and The Great Lakes. Her father moved to Carbondale, Illinois, in 1964 to pursue a Ph.D. in Journalism, which is where Ellen met Steve Ramp, her high school sweetheart. Steve was captain of the high school debate team and persuaded Ellen to become his partner. Steve and Ellen stopped debating and got married in 1970, after Ellen finished her Journalism degree in three years. Steve’s brother David Ramp and his sister Susan Ridout performed the music in a simple ceremony that produced over 50 years of true partnership.
Ellen taught school in Nashville, Tennessee, and received her master’s in Library Science at Peabody University, now part of Vanderbilt, where Steve attended law school. Alison and Charlie arrived in Nashville, and the growing family moved to Franklin, TN, where Ellen taught in the library of her children’s school. Ellen shared her respect for reading and storytelling with her students, entering them into many performances and contests.
In 1987, Ellen supported a major lifestyle change. The family moved to Princeton, NJ, where Ellen oversaw four school libraries so Steve could attend Seminary.
In 1993, friends from the Nashville, TN law firm recommended Ellen and Steve to a Presbyterian Church in McComb, MS. Ellen became a Reading Recovery coach and a Success for All facilitator at Otken Elementary School.
In 2007, Ellen completed her Doctorate in Education at the University of Southern Mississippi and joined the Education Department faculty. One of her former students wrote, “Ellen is one of those rare champions who used her talents to improve the world and the people whom God placed in her path. I am forever grateful for her investment in me.”
Ellen invested in students, future teachers, and colleagues. She cheered for her children Charlie and Alison, her son-in-law, Mike Buehler, and her grandchildren, Max, Ben, and Cecelia Buehler. She was faithful to her church communities and many long-time friends. Ellen’s legacy looms large, and her genuine, kind nature will be missed dearly. One friend said it best, “She was the real deal.”
If you wish to support Ellen’s ongoing legacy, you may send honoraria to The Pinebelt Foundation, 1510 Adeline Street, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, for the Ellen M. Ramp Neighbors Heart Scholarship Fund, or to Westminster Presbyterian Church (USA), 115 N 25 Ave. Hattiesburg, MS 39401. The Scholarship Fund expresses Ellen’s passion to assist hourly employees (and their families) of Neighbors Heart, a care-giving service that helped Ellen combat Parkinson’s Disease, with training and education expenses. Recipients shall apply to the Scholarship Committee of The Pinebelt Foundation.
Visitation will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church (USA), 115 N. 25 Ave., Hattiesburg, MS on Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 10:00-11:00 am, immediately followed by a memorial service at 11:00.