Obituary: Dr. Leonard Ray Ramsey

Posted at 11:48 AM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 13:48:01-05

Dr. Leonard Ray Ramsey went to be with his Lord on January 28, 2021, in Bozeman, Montana and was born in St. Ignatius, Montana, on September 5, 1953, to Jim and Helen Ramsey.

His family, including two older brothers—John and Ron—moved to Missoula, where Len grew up and graduated with high honors from Sentinel High School in 1971. He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in chemistry and a minor in medical sciences in 1975.

Len started dating Cindy Johnson when he was 16 and she was 14 when she asked him to the “Fall Fireside” high school dance. They were married in 1975, and just a year later, they both came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

They moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Len followed his dream of becoming a doctor, graduating from the University of New Mexico in 1981, with the most honors of his “Bozo” class. Always a lover of people, and loving all aspects of medicine, Len decided to specialize in family practice. The Ramsey boys, Benjamin and Joshua, were born in Ogden, Utah, while Len was in residency. Right at the end of residency, the Lord called Dr. Len and Cindy to medical mission work. While waiting for God’s “marching orders,” the Ramseys moved to Bozeman, Montana, where Len worked with the Medical Associates group, and where their daughter Cheree was born.

In 1989, they left Bozeman as a family for a three-month short-term medical mission to Swaziland, South Africa. Later, they served four years with World Gospel Mission at Tenwek Hospital in the highlands of Kenya, interspersing with times back in Bozeman, where Len continued serving his beloved Bozeman patients with Medical Associates and then with Bozeman Clinic. Len, with help from good friends and son Josh, built “the barn” (the Ramsey house), finishing it in 2005, just in time to begin a new ministry in Tanzania, East Africa, on Lake Tanganyika. They founded “Hope of the Nations Tanzania” alongside Coni and Harold Knepper. Working alongside nurse Adoneth Marco as a well-oiled medical team, Len served the lake people, providing life-giving health care to “mamas and watoto” (children). He learned to fly a helicopter and used it to reach people along the lake.

Len and Cindy returned from ministering in Africa in 2011, and Len finished his medical career by lovingly caring for Bozeman folks at Bozeman Clinic, and he retired from medicine in May of 2019. He and son Benj, and Benj’s wife Jeni, built the “Lazy Bear Cabin” on the Ramseys’ land. Always a project guy, after finishing that, Len was on to his next project, building a heated shop inside a garage so that he could rebuild his 1974 Fiat Spider. He fell doing what he loved to do, and he finished life well, doing everything he did—family guy, doctoring, learning, building, car tinkering, growing in the Lord and serving others—with all his heart. His presence is already missed around the world.

Between all the medical work, mission work and projects, Len loved spending time with his family. His children and grandchildren treasured being with their Dad and Daubi (grandfather). In fact, children of all ages loved Len. He was the one you went to when you wanted crazy fun and adventure: going down into mines, sleeping next to hippos, paintball wars, youth group cops and robbers ... or laughing till your tummy hurt while “Daubi” read you Calvin and Hobbes … biking, skiing, camping, or four-wheel adventures—it was always more fun with this guy in the mix, and it’s fitting that Dr. Len Ramsey delivered hundreds of babies over his 38 years in practice! He was looking forward to many more projects, crazy times and exploring the world with the kids and Cindy. Len will be sorely missed by his wife Cindy, his best friend, missionary and life partner, his one and only girlfriend of 46 years. They enjoyed doing life together, whether in Africa or the United States.

Len was a loving and attentive husband, although it was often hard for Cindy to share such an amazing man with the world. They were just beginning to enjoy their retirement years together and had so many more plans for an exciting (though toned-down) future together. Leonard enjoyed every aspect of life and the people around him. An amazing, godly man has been called HOME. Well done dear one! Enjoy your well-deserved life with the Lord. One day, we will meet again.

Dr. Len was preceded in death by his parents, Jimmy S. and Helen Irene (Hill) Ramsey, and his brother John Ramsey. He is survived by brother Ron (Las Vegas) and sister-in-law Susan Ramsey (Townsend, MT); his wife Cindy (Johnson) Ramsey; their son and family Benjamin & Jennifer Hanson Ramsey and their children Travin and Embyrlin Ramsey; son and family Joshua & Candace Smith Ramsey and their children Jacob and Samuel Ramsey; and daughter and son-in-law Cheree and Josh Ryan.

A memorial service will be held at Journey Church on Saturday, February 13, at 10:00 AM. A livestream will be available on the Dokken-Nelson website. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to Hope of the Nations Tanzania, PO Box 1777, Woodbridge, CA 95258. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.