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John Randolph Ramsey
December 29, 1943 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
John Randolph Ramsey, 80, formerly of Oak Island, NC passed away on January 26, 2024, in Ridgeland, SC. Throughout his struggle with serious medical issues, he maintained his hallmark attitude of determination and perseverance.
John was born in California on December 29, 1943, the only child of Charles and Margaret Ramsey. The family moved to Spencer, NC where John spent his childhood and was a 1962 graduate of Spencer High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Arts from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. His career thereafter was motivated by a talent for creative and innovative expressions of woodworking design and construction.
John served as Vice Principal and Industrial Arts Educator at Rockingham Junior High School in Richmond County, NC. He was passionate about sharing his love of functional and artistic woodworking with his students. He is remembered for using woodworking as a tool to reach and engage at-risk students. He retired from education, and in 1979 relocated to Long Beach (now Oak Island) and founded Carolina Kitchens and Baths of Oak Island, Inc. first in a facility next door to the police department and later on Long Beach Road. The business thrived as the area grew and he continued and expanded the enterprise for over 25 years.
John was very engaged with county and town economic development and was a strong supporter of the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce. He was a local and district leader in the Republican Party and was the party nominee for Brunswick County Clerk of Superior Court, winning a spirited primary election. He served multiple terms as a member of the Oak Island Town Council where his focus was on issues of utility expansion and emergency preparedness. He was appointed by the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners as the first Chairman of the Brunswick County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. As the Chairman of the Board immediately after the passage of the county-wide referendum he was instrumental in the design and operational development of the system and lead the Board in its initial opening and expansion efforts. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brunswick County Airport. His leadership helped the airport move successfully through a period of being awarded large state and federal grants resulting in rapid growth of hangar facilities, operational offerings and land area.
In 2018, John and his wife Patricia relocated in retirement to Ridgeland, SC.
John leaves behind not only cherished wood creations, but memories of his love for boating, fishing, and a gift for creative cooking. These memories will live on through his children and grandchildren and those fortunate to attend he and Pat's dinner parties. John was devoted to his yard and particularly the rose garden.
John is survived by his beautiful wife of 48 years Patricia (Patsy) McKeithan Ramsey of Ridgeland, SC. Also surviving are children Chris Ramsey-Plapp (Selig) of Wilmington, NC; Jennifer Gillikin Harsta (Roel) of Bluffton, SC, and Gibbs Gillikin of Supply, NC. Grandchildren surviving include Jonathan Plapp, of Wilmington, NC, and Eric Harsta, Chase Harsta, and Logan Harsta all of Bluffton, SC.
There will be a small private gathering for family and close friends in North Carolina and South Carolina.