George Bayless Ramsayer
(1934 - 2012)

George Bayless Ramsayer

September 25, 1934

October 12, 2012

George Bayless Ramsayer, age 78, died October 12, 2012 of a brief illness.

He was the son of Dr. Ralph and Elizabeth (Bayless) and loving husband to the late Carolyn (Browning). He is survived by children Douglas, Elizabeth Timmons, Scott and Christopher; devoted life partner Linda Shingler (Cochran) and her children Jim and Lora Shulman; and thirteen grandchildren.

Raised in Canton, OH, he was an Eagle Scout and played quarterback for the Canton McKinley Bulldogs. He earned degrees from Williams College and Case Western Reserve School of Law. George served in the U.S. Army and was a 32nd Mason of the Scottish Rite.

George married Carolyn in 1961 and settled in Bay Village, OH. He actively supported his children's accomplishments in music, sports, scouting and school from which he took great pride and joy. George gave his time to the Bay United Methodist Church, Kiwanis, and the Lake Erie Junior Nature and Science Center. A long-time member of the Cleveland Athletic Club, George was Sportsman of the Year in 1988.

In 1996 George retired after serving 25 years as VP and Trust Officer with National City Bank. He had built caring relationships with clients that went beyond the office and touched many lives.

After Carolyn’s passing in 1990, George met Linda, a cancer widow herself. They moved to North Myrtle Beach, SC, where he enjoyed golf, tennis, and new friends. He especially relished playing games with the grandchildren. As part of The Red Cups, he joyfully served his community. George lived what he preached, "Enjoy each day to its fullest."

Scott's eulogy from the memorial service:

To use my father’s words, George Ramsayer was a magnanimous and gregarious man. But these are only two of the many big or odd words he would use, as well as two of the many great qualities he possessed. Instead of covering them all, I would like to just touch upon the quality that I am most grateful for. He always prioritized his family above all else. He wanted his children to be happy, healthy, successful and "By God, to get along with each other". He accomplished that. 

I'm still not quite sure how he knew how to be such a great parent. He wasn't the type who read parenting books. And from what I understand his dad wasn't the best role model either. So even though, as he would often say, "You play the tapes of your parents", overall he didn't. In fact, he made it a point to do the opposite. He broke the cycle of emotional abuse that had been in his family. I know this took great determination and effort.

Dad had a strong opinion of what was right and wrong and fair and he acted on it, as well as lectured on it . . and lectured some more . . and some more . . . It was a good environment to grow up in. We knew the rules and knew what would make our dad happy or mad. What we didn't know then, but we all realize now being parents ourselves, is how much thought and effort our dad put into our well-being. 

He was very involved in raising us and provided so many opportunities for us to learn, expand our capabilities and explore the world. When we were very young, he built a big sandbox in the backyard and put up a trapeze in the basement. There were always a variety of toys for us to play with and he regularly played cards and board games with us, which he called "mental gymnastics".

We were encouraged to collect baseball cards, stamps, coins, beer cans and really almost anything. He took us to amusement parks and on long road trips for vacations which, by the way, if we spotted a beer can by the side of the road that we needed for our collection he would pull over to let us grab it. He let us build forts in the back yard out of wood that he had scavenged and gave us old mattresses to use for a high jump. We were able to join any sports team we wanted, many of which he helped coach. There was cub scouts and going to church and other community events. He made sure we had bikes, then cars, and eventually his encouragement to travel the world.

I can't remember him ever saying "No, You can't do that". Maybe for buying candy or watching tv but not for activities or endeavors. Of course, our chores had to get done, but I am thankful now that he expected us to work hard and be responsible. He encouraged us to get good grades but to do it for ourselves, not for him. 

He said we could be whatever we wanted when we grew up. And even though he wasn't a musician, he valued maybe most of all that we all learn an instrument. Anytime we wanted to quit he would talk us out of it and would say "You'll have a friend for life" and "You'll thank me later". Well, he was right.

A favorite story Dad loved to share went something like this: He came home from work one day and the four kids were making all sorts of noise - Doug playing trumpet upstairs, Chris playing drums in the basement, Betsy playing piano in the living room and Scott playing guitar in the family room. My dad sat down and started reading the paper. My mom looked at him and said "How can you read? Can't you hear all that racket?" and my dad said "Yes, isn't it beautiful!"

Chris' eulogy from the memorial service:

Growing up, if you would have asked me who my hero was, I would have said my Dad. I was in awe of him the way fans idolize a pop singer or a rock star. His life fascinated me; The Ramsayers were a prominent family in Canton. He was the quarterback of his high school football team. He went to the prestigious Williams college. He was in the army. He earned a law degree and worked for George Steinbrenner. He met my mother on a blind date and were married within a year. At that time in my life, my dad was coaching my sports teams, active in Scouts, active at the Lake Erie Junior Nature and Science center, fixing and building things around the house, and was a big shot squash player at the Cleveland Athletic Club. He seemed to do everything and be good at everything.
Now I am an adult, so I see him a bit more objectively. Still, that doesn’t change how I feel about him. I love him even more now but more so for his quirks and his take on life rather than his greatness. But then again, he does have the qualities of a great man.
- He is wise: Upon graduating from college, he gave me two pieces of advice; 1) Put as much money as you can into a 401(k) as early as possible, and 2) Pay someone to fertilize your yard. The latter advice provide to be the sagest as I have watched my friends and neighbors struggle with their yards over the years.
- He is persevering: He would always look for the closest parking spot and with a little patience, he would usually get one.
- He is logical, although his logic was sometimes a bit of a riddle: Upon finding Scott and I still in bed at 11:00am after we had been out late, he said “If you want to sleep in, then get to bed early!”
- He is an opportunist: Why spend all of your time in between golf shots fretting about your game when you could be finding golf balls lost in the woods or in water hazards? My dad has at least a thousand found golf balls back in his garage right now.
- He is frugal: When there was a good sale for Coke, he would line the wall of our garage and then later our basement with cases of Coke. My friends were always amazed to see the “Wall of Coke”. Also, my dad would always pack drinks to take with us out on the golf course rather than buy them.
- But being frugal didn’t mean that my father wasn’t generous. Even though we brought our own drinks, my father would still stop the lady who drives the beverage cart, ask for ice, and tip her $2.00. He made a point to do that everytime he went out.
Simply put, he is the greatest. I love him with all of my heart and I can’t think of any other way to describe him. I loved spending hours with him doing whatever. I am going to miss him but I don’t feel like he is gone. He lives on in me and through me, and that is something I am very proud of. I am proud to be Christopher George Ramsayer.

From Scott Dec 31st, 2012:

I was imagining a scenario from a story or movie where after the father dies the son has a burden lifted off of him because he no longer had to prove himself to his father. He was sad but also felt free. I realized that I had no such feelings. I have always felt free to be who I wanted to be. In words and in action you let me know that I should do things for myself, not for you. Thank you Dad.

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Guest Book (22 entries)
I lived three doors from your dad when we were in grade and high school. He carried me home on his shoulders when my shoes hurt so bad I could not walk. I was 9 and he was about 13. He and Wes Hargreaves were my friends. I am shocked and saddened to learn of his passing.
Ed Diamond (childhood friend)
November 27th, 2012
Dearest Doug, Betsy, Scott, and Chris:

There are no words that can express the sorrow I feel over the loss of your Dad. He was a very special man, loving, caring and a very loyal and true friend. So many wonderful memories of you Mom and Dad will always be with me. They were both very special to Ted and me and I miss them dearly.

My Love and Blessings and Very Deepest Sympathy.

Barbie Price Cannon (old friend)
November 21st, 2012
My name is George Ralph Ramsayer. I am your fathers cousin, son of Herbert and Helene Ramsayer. Although we were never close (your Dad and his brother Don were a bit older than me and my siblings) I was very sorry to hear of his passing. The few times we did meet as adults, were very pleasant and his warm and outgoing personality were obvious. The last meeting was in the early 90's at my fathers house in Alliance. My condolences to you and your family.

Having the same (uncommon) name as another person can lead to some interesting moments. I remember in college hitchhiking from Wooster Ohio back to college at Denison and being picked up by a Cleveland banker. A few miles down the road he asked me my name and became very upset when I told him. He said he knew George Ramsayer and I wasn't him!

Again, my condolences to you and your family.
George Ralph Ramsayer (Cousin)
November 12th, 2012
Dear Ramsayers,
I am sorry to learn of your father's passing. I have clear memories of him as a teen and young adult. As his younger cousins, the Ramsayers of Alliance were very impressed! His reaching out to us at the deaths of our parents was very appreciated. It sounds like he was a fine man and wonderful father. I wish you comfort in this difficut time.
Linda Ramsayer Mahler (cousin)
November 12th, 2012
Chris, Scott, Doug and Betsy,

I think the world of you all. Although I don't see you often, I know that I aspire to be more like my Mom's side of the family. Your genuineness and your warm spirited core are beautiful. Thanks for making my Mom a very proud and grateful Aunt. She adores you and is always there. God bless!

Erin Heltzel (Niece)
November 10th, 2012
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"I am missing you, Dad. July is not fun without you."
Betsy Ramsayer Timmons
July 8th, 2013
"You have been in my thoughts today, Father's Day". You were an amazing Dad to all 6 of our children and they all miss you. The grand children all miss your "special malts." I miss you so much and think of you everyday. Happy Father's Day,Love "
Linda Shingler
June 16th, 2013
"It's father's day and I'm thinking of you like I do pretty much every day. I'm trying hard to be as good a papa to my kids as you were to me. I love you and miss you Dad."
Scott Ramsayer
June 16th, 2013
"I was thinking what a great uncle George was when I was growing up. Every summer he happily took me into his home and made me part of the family. He taught me alot about competition, being humble in victory, and acting mature. I will truly miss him."
Bill Browning
January 29th, 2013
"Honey, I miss you so much. The holidays have NOT been the same without you. We ahared so many wonderful holidays together. I love you and miss you. You and your love will always be my most wonderful gift I ever received. Our love is "Special""
Linda Shingler
January 3rd, 2013
"I missed you over the holidays Dad but it really hit me hard today at a party when I was taught a game of cards. One woman was teaching me strategies and the right card to play just like you would do. I appreciate & cherish that time spent with you."
Scott Ramsayer
January 2nd, 2013
"Dad was an awesome Dad. His greatest joys came from family and most recently his grandchildren. From as early as I recall, he passed along his love of games & sports. He taught us all to play hard and fair. I look forward to our next hand of cards."
Douglas Ramsayer
November 7th, 2012
"Dad, in the making of this memorial, I've thought back on your life and all the wonderful things you have done for me and the family and feel so lucky to have had you as my dad. I love and miss you."
Scott Ramsayer
October 27th, 2012


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