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Choral Musician Barbara Ramirez Dies

May 16, 1996|MIMI KO CRUZ | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Memorial services will be held Sunday yfor Barbara Grace Ramos Ramirez of Westminster, who taught music at junior high schools and colleges and was known for her singing talent.

Ramirez died last week of heart and kidney problems at age 65.

She joined a college choir in Princeton, N.J., when she was 17. She became a soloist who did choral work under conductors including Arturo Toscanini and Leonard Bernstein.

While in Princeton, Ramirez befriended Albert Einstein. The two would spend Friday afternoons visiting each other at Carnegie Lake, Ramirez's husband said.

Ramirez later worked as a soloist, choir director and organist in Honolulu, where she was born and raised. She moved to California in 1956 and taught choral music at five junior high schools in the Garden Grove Unified School District until she retired in 1985. She then taught aspiring music teachers at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach.

Barbara Ramirez

"To her, it wasn't just a matter of teaching music but also of molding character," her husband, Lee Ramirez, said. "She always admonished them, 'Be proud of your God-given talents, but be humble and be dignified.' "

She had been youth choir director for the last six years at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church. She also sang and directed numerous choirs throughout Orange County.

Barbara Ramirez had also been a competitive tennis player and community and human rights activist, her husband said.

Besides her husband she is survived by a son, Richard Lee Ramirez of Westminster, and a brother, James D. Ramos of Santa Monica.

Memorial services will be at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 5895 Ball Road, Cypress, at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The family asks that donations be sent to Mt. Calvary for a Barbara Ramirez memorial scholarship fund.

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