Born in the first Mt. Vernon hospital located on Main Street, Tom Ramsay was born and reared in his beloved East Texas town. A 1958 graduate, he was an All-District Lineman for the Tigers and went on to play college football for one year at Arlington State University, later transferring to SMU and becoming a Phi Delta Theta, he graduated with a business degree.
Working in Dallas for Harris-Seybold where he out-sold everyone in the company in 1969, he later moved on to Don Meredith’s firm, First of Texas. In the midst of his Dallas work experience, he met his wife, Laurie. Moving back to Mt. Vernon, he opened Tom Ramsay Real Estate on the north side of the square. He helped initiate the Tall Tree lake development. Soon after that, he got into other ventures. He brought the Sonic to Mt. Vernon, the Dairy Queen, Dandy Donuts, and Dandy Mart 1 & 2 (now currently a nail salon and Exxon). He helped, along with John Wilhite, develop the residential housing on Park Lane.
Bringing a second bank to Mt. Vernon, Franklin National Bank (currently Prosperity Bank), Tom served on its board for many years. But another position dear to his heart, the Mt. Vernon School Board, spearheaded his direction into politics. He saw changes that needed to be made at State Legislative level for the benefit of Texas children. He ran as State Representative in 1992 and won. He served in this capacity until 2002. During that time, he served as House Chairman of County Affairs. With the help of Governor Ann Richards, Tom brought the Lowe’s Distribution Center to Franklin County. When TxDOT said it would take one year to bring an access road to Lowes, Tom called Governor Richards. The access road was built in two months.
Tom drove down to Tyler and talked to Mr. Brookshire. He convinced him that one of his grocery stores would be a success in Mt. Vernon. Tom built a facility for them to rent. It wasn’t long before the success of Brookshire’s proved the need for their own building. Currently, the Mt. Vernon Brookshire’s is one of their most profitable stores outside of Tyler.
When Tom left the State Legislature in 2002, it wasn’t long before the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, appointed him to the Ethics Commission. He was appointed to two four-year terms, serving one of those years as chairman.
Throughout his political career, he remained a loyal Rotarian to the Mt. Vernon chapter in which his father had been a founding member. president. In preparation for leading a 7-week Rotary trip to Australia in 1979, the Mt. Vernon Rotary made Tom a Paul Harris Fellow. Additionally, he served on the Industrial Foundation of Franklin County.
Because Tom’s four children went through the Mt. Vernon public school system, he was one of the biggest promoters of Mt. Vernon, including its sports and the education of its youth. He has left a lasting legacy.
He is survived by his wife, Laurie, and their four children and spouses: Michael and Diane Ramsay of Mt Pleasant; Mark Ramsay and Brian Corkins of Dallas; Allison and Ryan Higgins soon to be from Mt Vernon; and Jordan and Brooke Ramsay of Mt. Vernon.
Tom loved his family. Along with his four children, he was blessed with 15 grandchildren: Rusti (and her son, Brynton), Gabe and his wife, Sara and son Asher, Kade, Tallon and Raif Ramsay; Andrew, Rebekah, Rachel, Joseph, Sarah, and Hannah Higgins; Samuel, Roy, Ruth and Naomi Ramsay.
Tom is also survived by three siblings and their spouses: Lanny and Kitty Ramsay of Mt. Vernon, Rosalind Ramsay Bell of Mt. Vernon, and Cynthia and Kirk Woodall of Dallas and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents Landon and Mozelle Ramsay; grandchild, Isaac Higgins and brother-in-law, Paul Bell.
Funeral services will be on Friday, July 22, 2022, at 2:00 pm at the First Baptist Church Mt. Vernon. There will a reception afterward for a time of fellowship and visiting with the family.
Services entrusted to Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home – www.samharveyfuneralhome.com