ForeverMissed
We celebrate the life of G. Ramsey Yoder who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 2, at the age of 87 from complications related to pneumonia (not COVID). Ramsey was born November 12, 1933 in Barberton, Ohio to Georgia Read and Harold Fetzer Yoder. He graduated from Barberton’s Coventry High School in 1952 and graduated from Cornell University with a BS Degree in Floriculture in 1956. He then completed the Small Business Owners Management Program at Harvard Business School. He joined Yoder Brothers in 1955 as a mum propagator in the Barberton greenhouses and continued his career with Yoder Brothers and Aris until 2021. Ramsey married Patricia (Patty) Barrett in 1960. Patty passed in 2005. Later Ramsey was fortunate to meet Tess McGinley, who he married in 2008. They lived on a farm in Tinmouth, Vermont. He loved to travel and was an avid fly-fisherman. Ramsey is survived by wife Denise (Tess), two sons, Brad and Shane, and a daughter Nora, grandson Brett, sister Leslie Yoder Lynch and nieces Rebecca Janssen and Meg Wiskind. Ramsey touched so many people’s lives around the world that he will be missed greatly. He asked that there be no memorial service.  In Lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in memory of Ramsey to the Tinmouth Community Education Fund in Vermont C/O Cathy Reynolds, Treasurer 143 Channel Road, Tinmouth VT 05773.
Posted by Brett Yoder on April 12, 2021
Ramsey was a gentleman and an amazing human being, but most of all he was my Grampy. He prided himself on having flown me from Colorado to Vermont 18 times across 17 consecutive summers. Over the years, he fueled my curiosity with books and games, then summer camps and fishing trips. I also took on jobs around the property of increasing complexity. If it was possible, I'm sure he would have duck taped a book to my face while I weed-whacked for optimal efficiency.

And he was always urging me to get involved, from when he added "Three Cups of Tea" to my summer reading to this year when he recommended I watch the documentary "Kiss the Ground." But my greatest gift from him by-far is the desire to live as adventurously and compassionately as him. I know he'll be with me everywhere I travel and every connection I make.
Posted by Adrian Bloom on March 26, 2021
I flew in from Cleveland to Burlington, driving down to stay with Ramsey and Patty in their wonderful home in ( I think) July 2000. I had not met either of them before but was immediately made welcome and shown to my bedroom on the second floor with a great view of the Vermont landscape and Patty's Llamas amongst her sheep. A stiff Makers Mark, my first taste of Ramsey's recommended bourbon, and we were ( I felt) already friends. A wonderful meal and good conversation , and having done a lot of travelling , I was ready to have a good nights sleep. A couple of hours later the tornado ( Seldom known in Vermont ) struck, blowing open windows ,rain pouring in from east ,west, and south. It seemed to go on for awhile and had come closer to my end of the house....a tree down , but we were all ok. Ramsey wondered if I had brought the tornado from Cleveland....and I suggested it wasn't the sort of welcome I had expected ! A stormy, oft related first visit...

That was a beginning of a friendship with Ramsey and Patty, then Tess. Patty sadly died and later I lost my wife Rosemary. Although our meeting were infrequent , it seems real friendship happens when , not having seen someone for a few years , when you do and within an hour ( or less) you feel you can pick up where you left off, immediately feeling comfortable with each other.
From reading others comments , it seems Ramsey had that rare ability with many. Ramsey had an easy presence despite his physical stature and although I still couldn't claim to have known him well , he seemed to posses a personal determination alongside a keen intellect and a goodwill for (most ) of humanity. Tess will let me know if I got it wrong.

Lastly good wishes to Tess and all his family . Ramsey will long be remembered , and I count it a privilege to have known him.
Posted by Dolly Martin on March 23, 2021
To Brad, To the Yoder Family, To Ramsey´s family & friends,
Sending flowers, sympathy, energy & thoughts across the Big Blue.
Ramsey and Patty invited me several times when I was an exchange student, age 17, out in OH in 1984/85. He was just great and I could talk to him about Europe and the world - which made me feel less homesick at the time. Thank you and I will never forget that! And of course I also passed the Yoder offices back then and he showed me around. Looking back Ramsey was a glocal thinker (a mix between local and global) already in 1984 - way ahead of the time. An international mindset. Life is a river and I am thankful to be able to stop by here today, write down these thoughts and to remember somebody with a great personality. Only the best to all of you. Great memories. Greetings from Germany, Europe. Dolly (Mart/Martin) - daughter of Juergen (Mart)
(former YODER, Europe) and sister of Matt (Matthias Mart)
Posted by Bill Rasbach on March 22, 2021
Just a week after graduation in 1973 I joined Yoder Brothers at Synder Avenue, a big difference from the Barn, and I got to meet Ramsey. Little did I know the influence he would have on my career and life. He was a great mentor. He allowed me to grow at Yoder/Aris over the many years. I will be forever grateful for the many opportunities and his continued support. I will cherish our trips to Colombia and Europe together and the many wonderful people we met along the way. He was always eager to hear what you had to say with his broad smile and often crossed arms. When I retired as President of Aris I kept the desk he and I shared when we were in that position. It is a continual reminder of our time together.
Away from work I have heard many of the fishing and hunting exploits Ramsey was on and I got to go on just one. I'm sorry there was not time for more trips. The tales, with bigger fish and more birds, will be repeated fondly by the Hookers and Bangers for many years to come and will help fill the hole his passing has left.
Posted by Terry Bee on March 20, 2021
My name is Terry Bee, I was the Vice President of Production at Yoder Canada. From my perspective, Ramsey was a forward thinker for Yoder Brothers globally, and my job was to “get it done yesterday”.

Ramsey came to my retirement party the summer of 2005 and gave a very emotional and sincere speech that will never be forgotten. He talked about what we at Yoder Canada contributed to the company’s global brand and made us feel important.

Ramsey was truly a people person.
Posted by Ernie Estep on March 18, 2021
Our life will never be the same without our dear Ramsey-just as it has never been the same without Patty.
The joy, adventure, laughter, friendship and trust that we were blessed to share with these two beautiful people and their family will forever be in our hearts.
Tess was much loved by Ramsey. He always said “he had two wonderful wives in his life”, and we certainly agree with him. Tess has brought strength, wisdom and kindness to us all and we love her.
Ernie and Bonnie Estep
Posted by Leslie Lynch on March 17, 2021
vI am Ramsey’s sister Leslie Lynch. After college and 2 years working at Barberton Citizens hospital I left Akron with a friend to San Francisco, CA because Ramsey was managing the Yoder Brothers’ greenhouses in Salinas, CA. He would be close enough if I needed my big brother, but he wasn’t close by for long, he left CA and I stayed! Ramsey returned to Barberton to work at the Yoder Brothers’ headquarters. I had met my husband in SF and his whole family lived in Northern and Southern CA...I loved him, and all of them, so I’ve stayed for 60 years!

Ramsey and I had a good childhood living on the O.C. Barber Farm Estate in Barberton, OH. Mother and Dad rented the plant manager’s house and there began Ramsey’s lifetime of adventure. He camped in the woods behind our house, fished in the pond, explored the Barber Estate by foot and even snuck into O.C. Barber’s mansion before he was caught.

At 13 his first job was shoveling manure in what later became the mushroom barn across the street. In that same large beautiful brick and cement barn he and I got locked on the 2nd floor and his idea to get down was the dumb waiter! He sustained a mean skin tear from going down so fast and had a scar forever after to remind him of his idea.

In high school he rode the freight train rails with a buddy; they rode West and South until arrested. Mother and Dad sent bail and flew him back to Akron. An adventure over, but he loved it.

He travelled to Europe, South and Central America by himself after college at Cornell University. He avoided large cities, instead sought out people in small rural towns in all of the many countries that he visited. Living and working with Laplanders, eating reindeer and loving the people. He hitchhiked from the top to bottom of Europe. He volunteered during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 helping Hungarian refugees escape.

Ramsey worked for Yoder Brothers, then Yoder, and more recently Aris Horticulture for his entire career. He married Patty Barrett in 1967 and they created a life of happiness and creativity in Akron. They spent many weekends driving 10 hours one-way with Brad and Shane from Akron to Dorset, VT and later to Tinmouth. They loved everything about Vermont and the rest is history.

So many stories! I wish he had written a book. He was loved and admired by everyone he met and lived his life with acts of love and generosity. I miss him so much already.

A beautiful life is never forgotten. May you rest in peace my dear brother Ramsey.
Posted by Cathy Reynolds on March 17, 2021
I have lived in Tinmouth, a rural Vermont town of 600 people for a long time. In the late 1990's, the Town held its annual Town Meeting in the aging steel fire station that was strong on diesel fumes. A discussion began about building a new space that would house this meeting and allow for town gatherings and events. Discussions ensued, plans were considered: perhaps a building with a new fire station attached, a gym for the kids, a community center! Then reality struck as the costs came forward. Tinmouth was a Town that had never bonded for a building-"not possible" was the sentiment. Project energy diminished.

Ramsey and Patty kept thinking about this need and reached out to the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) - a philanthropic organization that helps non-profits and individuals create endowments and direct giving. The Tinmouth Community Fund was born to make this new building a reality. After quite a lot of fundraising and some generous anonymous donors fueled by the dot com bubble of 1999, the funds were secured! The Tinmouth Community Center was completed in 2000. It is attached to the school and the kids now have a gym/lunch room/gathering space for all school events, a large kitchen and a classroom - all available for community use whenever school is not in session. What a stellar addition to Tinmouth! And thanks to a community led process and lots of volunteer labor, there was $85,000 left at the VCF when the building was completed.

What to do with the funds? Continue the good works and mission that this fund envisioned - to make Tinmouth a better place to live and to support its residents.

Thus began the 20 year history of grant making in Tinmouth through the Tinmouth Community Fund. The Fund has a 9-member elected board and awards $500 grants to community members to support projects that meet the goals of the fund. Both Ramsey and Tess have served on this Board. TCF has funded our monthly newsletter, our local library, milfoil eradication in our small lake, free trees for homeowners, numerous school program enhancements, Town and school gardens and playgrounds, swimming lessons, high visibility garb for walkers to "Be Seen" in Tinmouth and so many more fun initiatives.

In 2012 a Continuing Education Scholarship Fund was created and annual scholarships are awarded for education beyond high school for learners of all ages. In 2020 a Small Business Grant was created to assist business owners with business startup or expansion.

So the vision that started from that meeting in the smelly firehouse has become an enduring legacy to support our small Town and its residents. This is a legacy that will continue in perpetuity thanks to the vision and structure provided by Ramsey more than 20 years ago.

Thanks Ramsey, for caring about Tinmouth and its residents; you will be missed.
Posted by Rebecca Janssen on March 16, 2021
I am Ramsey's niece - daughter of his sister Leslie. I have 50+ years of memories of Uncle Ramsey. Such a force! Always interested in other people's lives and he could be a part of any conversation on any subject. I wonder how many people Ramsey knew and how many knew him? A patron of the arts and crafts and horticulture...a "flower guy" his whole life. Ramsey and Patty showed me how to live an artisanal life full of plants and art and color.

Ramsey was a traveler...he "rode the rails" when he was young and told many stories of that time. Childhood lore for me and that was just the beginning of his traveling life. One of my favorite memories with Ramsey was in New Zealand in 1986. We took a walk on my last morning. It was a wide country road with thick tree cover and a river alongside. It had been raining. I don't remember the conversation, but I'll always remember the walk.

Sometimes Ramsey would be telling a funny story and he would start laughing uncontrollably before the story's end. I know there are others who experienced this!

All of our time together and hundreds of phone conversations add up to my monumental 55-year memory for a monumental man, my favorite uncle.

The last time we were with Ramsey was in Vermont in 2019. On our last night he and my husband were drinking Drambuie and Ramsey was off-the-hook hilarious. We all laughed (at my expense!) loudly, deeply and way before the story ended.

All love to Ramsey.
Posted by Gary Jaquith on March 16, 2021
Ramsey was awesome!! He was tall in stature and intellect. We could always gain from his wisdom. Whenever he spoke, we listened. Ramsey and I both shared a love of fly fishing, and I always looked forward to his stories about his experiences gained while he traveled throughout the world. Our periodic breakfast “chat and chews” were enhanced greatly by his presence. He was a giant of a man and will always be remembered as a special person in my life. He was a true gentleman and benefactor to many.
Posted by Michael Fannin on March 14, 2021

   I want to include here the story of how Ramsey helped save Tinmouth Vermont. Around twenty years ago when OMYA proposed to strip mine their property on Tinmouth Mountain Ramsey stepped up to provide the major funding to oppose that nightmare. Had OMYA succeeded in their efforts there still would have been something called Tinmouth but it would not be a place anyone would want to live in. We would have become an industrial conduit with tens of thousands of trucks coming and going from the valley, degrading the roads we were obligated to maintain and fouling up the atmosphere. This is what people we had met from other parts of the world encountered when OMYA came to town to grind up their marble into dust and use it for industrial applications. We were up against a multinational powerhouse which had not been thwarted before. Had it not been for Ramsey’s love of his adopted town the quality of life we still enjoy here would be no more. He was a crucial member of the opposing team that stopped OMYA from destroying Tinmouth Mountain. This town benefited in many other ways from his generosity but the fight to save it was to me his greatest contribution.
Michael and Wendy Fannin
Posted by Peter Welch on March 13, 2021
Hi Tess and friends of Ramsey,

I am so sad to learn of wonderful Ramsey’s death. What an extraordinary man who enriched my life and so many others. We did not see each other nearly as much as I would have liked - that is probably true for many of us who enjoyed how special he was—but he felt accessible and responsive and very close. And I always loved our conversations and emails, often about the latest political outrage and what we could do about it. I admired his eye for beauty and design and appreciation of nature and deep knowledge of it And his wondrous capacity as well to be such a clear and focused person in business. Big heart. My deepest condolences on your loss. Peter
Posted by Jeremy McGurk on March 13, 2021
I met Ramsey a few times in my tenure at Yoder Brothers/Aris -- Ramsey was a kind person and you could tell he really cared about the people working for the company. He will be missed by many but his legacy will carry on.
Posted by Gordon Hayward on March 12, 2021
During the winter of 1998, Ramsey called Mary and me. Would we take he and Patty and about 7 friends to the Cotswolds in England to look at gardens? He wanted to make this a kind of present to Patty. In June, we all flew to Heathrow and gathered at The Complete Angler hotel situated next to a weir in The Thames in Marlow so we heard the flow of water through the night. The next day we visited a sculpture garden in Surrey and then drove in an 11 passenger van to The Malt House, a bed and breakfast in a 17th century home/hotel in Broad Campden just outside Chipping Campden in the North Cotswold Hills near where Mary grew up. For the next eight days we visited Highgrove (the gardens of Prince Charles), Rosemary Verey's garden, Kiftsgate and The Hidcote Manor Gardens, the pristine Arts and Crafts house and gardens at Rodmarton and Lady Mary Keen's garden among many others. One evening we had dinner at Raymond Blanc's famous restaurant Le Quatres Saisons near Oxford. In many ways, that trip embodies for Mary and me who Ramsey was - a caring and loving gentleman who put this whole idea together for Patty. This was a trip in large part to celebrate Patty and friendships and gardens and beauty and great cooking and flowers everywhere. It was a trip to celebrate life being lived. Ramsey was a man who savored life and conversation and friends, and if he could have all of those in a garden, that was one of his definitions of heaven.  Gordon and Mary Hayward
Posted by Marcos Lewis on March 12, 2021
I met Ramsey back in 2001, when he came on an exploratory fishing trip as part of one of the funnest most old school group of anglers we had been with... well this relationship lasts till today, with the exception that we have lost Ramsey who was one of the key components in the glue that holds this group of outdoor sportsmen together. We always had fun, from scheduling, planning then executing trips for his beloved Bangers & Hookers.
Anyway, Im really going to miss his calls "letting me know" he's going to use my member card at a well known fly fishing store to get goodies on discount, and most of all that lovely shriek followed by a laugh every time he hooked a fish. Soar high my friend and look out for us down here!!
Posted by Dolores Shea on March 11, 2021
My deepest sympathies to Ramsey's family. I worked for Ramsey for the first few years of my employment and stayed for 42 years. Ramsey always had a smile and friendly word for you. When he came to Barberton for a board meeting we would occasionally get to spend a few minutes together which I cherished. At certain milestones with the company I was fortunate enough to receive a personal note from him which meant so much. He was the type of person that did those things for his employees and made you feel important to the company. He was one of a kind.
Posted by Charles Walton on March 11, 2021
Ramsey and I have been friends for 40 years. We've shared business and floral trade interests, industry contacts, and working together on the Yoder (now Aris) Board of Directors. Ramsey introduced me to fly fishing and we've fished and hunted birds together around the world. I've posted a number of photos from some of these shared experiences. We all miss him and will fondly remember times spent together.
Posted by Stacey Santos on March 9, 2021
I never had the pleasure of meeting Ramsey in person, but he did send me an email when I was promoted to HR Manager of Keepsake Plants Florida. My stomach fluttered when I saw his name pop up, not because I was scared of what it said, but because I felt excited that he knew of me. HIs email was short, but powerful. In it he said, "You have a grand assignment ahead of you in securing a labor force to handle our Gediflor production this Spring. It’s a tough market out there and I’m happy you are with us in tackling not only this challenge, but the whole human relation experience. I’ll be there cheering for you." Those words will forever be in my mind and I will carry them with me always. It's rare that you see an owner of a business reach out to his front line employees. It truly made my day! Ramsey will be missed even by those who never met him. I know I have heard stories of how great of a man he was. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and pray for his resting soul.
Posted by Linda Stalf-Boston on March 9, 2021
The day after I graduated high school, Bill Aulenbach took a chance on hiring me at Yoder Brothers for a few months through the summer and was welcomed by Ramsey. 46 years later, I am still here by his encouragement and inspiration. Ramsey was so down to earth and humble, and was a leader like no other. As businesses do, we have our ups and downs, but Ramsey was always positive that we could pull through anything as a team. He genuinely cared for our staff not only as employees, but as people and took interest in our lives. We feel that sense of family because of him. He was respected by those at our different locations and by the industry. We feel this tremendous loss and our deepest prayers go out to Tess, Brad and Shane and their families. 
Posted by Nancy Lahmers on March 8, 2021
To Ramsey’s family I send a big virtual hug and share your tears. He was my boss, my mentor and my friend while at Moonlight Mushrooms. His guidance, perspective and very quick wit was invaluable for all of us. His smile could bring a smile even in tough times. We have lost a leader, an adventurer and a friend.
Posted by Brad Yoder on March 8, 2021
If you are here in this moment, you and I are in the same boat. We've lost a quiet force of nature. Ramsey was a father today’s kids would call “old skool”. My Dad taught me about how to live by what he didn’t say as much as by what he said. As a kid, Dad let us explore our world and summers in Vermont was the laboratory. From riding our bicycles anywhere and everywhere around Dorset, to swimming at the Dorset Quarry unsupervised, Shane and I were parented in a way that younger kids can only dream of. Dad was providing guidance. Not micro-managing, offering suggestions providing opportunities. One of the opportunities provided to me at age 14 was to work for a dairy farmer in Vermont for 3 consecutive summers. Mostly moving manure and making the bales of hay that create the manure. In those experiences my steel was tempered. As Ramsey’s sons, we were taught to work without “grousing”, deal fairly with others and to live honestly. What a legacy.

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Posted by Brett Yoder on April 12, 2021
Ramsey was a gentleman and an amazing human being, but most of all he was my Grampy. He prided himself on having flown me from Colorado to Vermont 18 times across 17 consecutive summers. Over the years, he fueled my curiosity with books and games, then summer camps and fishing trips. I also took on jobs around the property of increasing complexity. If it was possible, I'm sure he would have duck taped a book to my face while I weed-whacked for optimal efficiency.

And he was always urging me to get involved, from when he added "Three Cups of Tea" to my summer reading to this year when he recommended I watch the documentary "Kiss the Ground." But my greatest gift from him by-far is the desire to live as adventurously and compassionately as him. I know he'll be with me everywhere I travel and every connection I make.
Posted by Adrian Bloom on March 26, 2021
I flew in from Cleveland to Burlington, driving down to stay with Ramsey and Patty in their wonderful home in ( I think) July 2000. I had not met either of them before but was immediately made welcome and shown to my bedroom on the second floor with a great view of the Vermont landscape and Patty's Llamas amongst her sheep. A stiff Makers Mark, my first taste of Ramsey's recommended bourbon, and we were ( I felt) already friends. A wonderful meal and good conversation , and having done a lot of travelling , I was ready to have a good nights sleep. A couple of hours later the tornado ( Seldom known in Vermont ) struck, blowing open windows ,rain pouring in from east ,west, and south. It seemed to go on for awhile and had come closer to my end of the house....a tree down , but we were all ok. Ramsey wondered if I had brought the tornado from Cleveland....and I suggested it wasn't the sort of welcome I had expected ! A stormy, oft related first visit...

That was a beginning of a friendship with Ramsey and Patty, then Tess. Patty sadly died and later I lost my wife Rosemary. Although our meeting were infrequent , it seems real friendship happens when , not having seen someone for a few years , when you do and within an hour ( or less) you feel you can pick up where you left off, immediately feeling comfortable with each other.
From reading others comments , it seems Ramsey had that rare ability with many. Ramsey had an easy presence despite his physical stature and although I still couldn't claim to have known him well , he seemed to posses a personal determination alongside a keen intellect and a goodwill for (most ) of humanity. Tess will let me know if I got it wrong.

Lastly good wishes to Tess and all his family . Ramsey will long be remembered , and I count it a privilege to have known him.
Posted by Dolly Martin on March 23, 2021
To Brad, To the Yoder Family, To Ramsey´s family & friends,
Sending flowers, sympathy, energy & thoughts across the Big Blue.
Ramsey and Patty invited me several times when I was an exchange student, age 17, out in OH in 1984/85. He was just great and I could talk to him about Europe and the world - which made me feel less homesick at the time. Thank you and I will never forget that! And of course I also passed the Yoder offices back then and he showed me around. Looking back Ramsey was a glocal thinker (a mix between local and global) already in 1984 - way ahead of the time. An international mindset. Life is a river and I am thankful to be able to stop by here today, write down these thoughts and to remember somebody with a great personality. Only the best to all of you. Great memories. Greetings from Germany, Europe. Dolly (Mart/Martin) - daughter of Juergen (Mart)
(former YODER, Europe) and sister of Matt (Matthias Mart)
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