BLUFFTON, OH - Glen William (Bill) Ramseyer died on Thursday, February 18, 2021, after suffering a cardiac event two days earlier in Bluffton, Ohio. Bill was born November 29, 1936, in Columbus, Ohio, the youngest child of Lloyd and Ferne Ramseyer. His older brother Bob (Alice Ruth) preceded him in death and his sister Mary Jean Wells (Bob) survives him. His family moved to Bluffton in 1947, and he grew up on the campus of Bluffton College where his father served as the college president for 27 years. In 1955, at the very mature age of 18, he married the love of his life, Mary Alice Burry, who survives. Mary was his rock and cherished partner. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past year.
He loved his family and they loved him. His children and their spouses, Jeri and Duane Earley (Wilmington, OH), Cindy Ropp (Bloomington, IL), and Randy and Jenny Ramseyer (Abingdon, VA) were his pride and joy, as were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren that followed. Eight grandchildren include Grace (Dustin) Eads, Sarah (Phil) Evans, Laura (Joel) Dobney, Katie Ropp, Matthew (Lisa) Ropp, Rachel Ropp, Craig (Caitlin) Ramseyer, and Maggie (Tyler) Branton. His 13 great-grandchildren include Paxton and Irene Eads; Titus, Patrick, Gideon, and Lydia Dobney; Maddie Price, Brody and Tucker Ropp; Hudson and Oakley Ramseyer; and Gunnar and Finley Branton. Twin great-grandchildren are expected in August.
Bill had a heart for being of service to others. Active participation in a local congregation wherever he lived was a priority. In college, he originally studied to be a minister, but changed to coaching because he felt this would enable him to have more of an impact in the lives of young people. In 1968, he traveled to Washington DC to participate in the Poor People's March. As a coach, he regularly involved his players in service to local communities.
He coached football for 44 years and was very successful and took on challenging assignments. While coaching a team at Firelands High School, a team that had never enjoyed a winning season, with 19 players, finished 9-1 in his first year. In his three years as head coach, the team compiled a 24-2 record. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1971. During his time as an assistant coach for the Tigers, he developed the first computerized scouting program for the team. The 1969 Missouri team was the Big 8 Champion and played in the Orange Bowl. In 1972, he was named head college football coach at Wilmington College. Under Coach Ramseyer, Wilmington had an overall record of 114-58-4 and reached the national playoffs in 1980, 1982, and 1983. In 1980, Wilmington made it to the national championship game. Accepting a new challenge, in 1991, he was asked to be the first head coach at Clinch Valley College (now known as the University of Virginia’s College at Wise). He built a program from scratch and compiled a record at UVa-Wise of 62-46 with seven winning seasons, an undefeated season, and two playoff appearances.
He loved his coaches and players and so enjoyed keeping up with them after their playing days were over. Retirement really didn't slow Bill down. For two summers, he and Mary traveled to Switzerland to coach the Winterthur Warriors. They returned to a retirement home that he designed on Harbor Island, South Carolina, which they enjoyed for fifteen years. In 2018, they returned to Bluffton, Ohio.
In his final years, Parkinson’s Disease took its toll, but he always tried to stay positive. His was a life well-lived. He was kind, loving, gracious, and good. He was a people-person and cared deeply for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bill's honor to the Bill and Mary Ramseyer Scholarship Fund at UVa-Wise; Wilmington College; Bluffton College; or Mennonite Home Communities.
Because of the COVID pandemic, a private graveside ceremony will be held. Plans are being made for memorial services and celebrations of life when conditions improve. Condolences may be expressed to the family and further information about Bill's life may be found at www.chiles-lamanfh.com. Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services – Bluffton is honored to be providing services to Bill’s family.