VERNA RUTHERFORD — Fernando Ramirez remembered as great man, positive leader

Published 12:04 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

My vivid memories of Fernando’s contributions span more than three decades during which time he spent a vast amount of personal time and resources helping promote Port Arthur locally and across the country.

After his retirement from (then) Southwestern Bell, Fernando continued to volunteer in more ways than I can ever recall.

He was rarely seen without his camera equipment – taking photos at local events, as part of the hundreds of local delegates making trips to Austin for legislative visits, and even in Atlanta, Georgia and in Louisville, Kentucky when he participated in and photographed delegates showcasing Port Arthur in All America City competitions.

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Most important to me, however, is that Fernando helped many of us understand small and large ways we could engage with the Hispanic community to show our utmost respect in bridging cultural differences and building relationships.

My heart breaks over the loss of Fernando.

I’m fondly reflecting on several of his post-retirement work roles such as the Port Arthur Main Street Program Director, for PAISD, starting Hispanic news outlets that were among the first — if not, the first of our area’s Hispanic newspaper and radio stations. His life exhibited the true spirit of volunteerism – and always with a big smile on his face.

— Verna Rutherford, community leader