Phil (Phillip G.) Ramsey, age 88, a former CAG executive committee member and long-time environmental protection advocate in Gratiot County passed away July 6 peacefully at home with his loving wife Lois by his side. Phil was a 1951 graduate of Alma High School. That same year, he married his first wife Gwendolyn (Ebright). He worked for many years as a heavy equipment operator in gravel pits in the region and was an active member of the United Auto Workers. In the 1990’s Phil worked for a number of years on the Texas Gulf Coast, being exposed to even more cases of disregard for the long-term impact of contaminants on the environment. Following, Gwendolyn’s death in 1995, Phil returned to Michigan. In 1999 he married Lois (Stockton) and began involvement with the Pine River Task Force, bringing a wealth f knowledge of pollution practices in the Pine River watershed.
Phil was an invaluable living encyclopedia of local environmental-health mistakes and the potential locations of hazardous waste dumping. He also regularly visited the Velsicol plant site to check on the work of U.S. EPA and their prime contractor Jacobs. Despite being one of the oldest members of the Task Force, one of Phil’s prime concerns was to reach out to the youth of the region to get them involved in continuing the work to which he gave so much time. In 2017, the Pine River Task Force selected Phil as their Person of the Year and placed his name on a plaque in St. Louis City Hall.
Those who worked on environmental-health protection in the region know Phil as a passionate colleague and friend. While raised, educated and long-term resident of Gratiot County, he had a remarkable national and global perspective on the endless struggle for integrity, justice and fairness in our society. While concerned with the big challenges facing our county, state. nation and world, Phil never overlooked being kind and friendly to those he encountered, whether a waiter at a restaurant or a librarian helping in a search. As he made all of us better by knowing him, his impact will endure.
Phil wished that people would make donations in his memory to the Task Force. We extend our sincerest condolences to his loving and wonderful wife Lois, his children, step-children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and sister.