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Lydia Duron Ramirez, 100 years old, passed away, Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 4:35a.m. A prayer of the rosary and eulogy will take place on Friday, May 19th, at 7:00p.m., at Elliott Hamil Funeral Home, and viewing on Saturday, May 20th, at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held Monday, May 22nd, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church. Interment will be in Abilene City Cemetery following Mass.
Mrs. Ramirez was born on May 19, 1916, in Smithville, Texas. As a young girl, she was a tomboy, her favorite toy was a sling shot and she rode a horse named Flicka. On December 10, 1932, she married Manuel J. Ramirez. They moved to Abilene in 1940. She and Manuel were the founders of what is now known as "Penjamo"-a barrio that flourished in the Hispanic community. Throughout the 1950's, their home was a hub where musicians gathered to entertain and exchanged ideas, and celebrated their heritage. In addition to raising a family, Lydia helped her husband in their early married life with his various businesses, including working in the cotton fields, running a small bakery, and selling refreshments at the barrio's baseball games from old van that Manuel customized into a mobile concession stand. Lydia was very involved in the early establishment of St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church. She became a Cursillista in 1967 and remained a very devoted Cursillista.
In the late 1950's, Lydia worked for the Abilene School District making desserts in the cafeteria at several elementary schools. After Manuel died in 1968, Lydia moved to New Jersey, where she worked with seniors at a retirement center. Her last job in the 1980's was at a senior center in Santa Ana, California.
While she lived in Abilene, she resided at The Arbors at Rose Park and previously for many years at Carver Plaza Senior Citizen Apartments. Lydia moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, five years ago and lived at The Suites Assisted Living Community. She enjoyed outings with the other residents.
Lydia has three children: Nellie Buomberger of Grants Pass, Oregon, Gloria Ann Wessman of San Bernardino, California, and Marie "Tina" Lopez of Abilene, Texas. Her son and first-born, Florence "Lanchito" Ramirez, died at 18 months and her daughter, Lydia Soca, who lived in New Jersey, died in 2014. She has six grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Lydia enjoyed traveling and has used just about every form of transportation: planes, trains, boats, buses, cars, pioneer wagons and carriages, even horses
and donkeys. She has traveled the United States from coast to coast and has taken birthday trips with her daughters to Hawaii, and Cancun, Mexico. For her 100th birthday, she traveled to Palm Springs, California, where a grand celebration was held with her family and friends.
Lydia enjoyed bowling, gardening, and kept parakeets as pets. Her favorite color was red. She would say that the color red gave off a feeling of love and happiness. She attributed her long life to never smoking or drinking alcohol, but mostly to enjoying dancing and singing which she felt was good for the body and soul. She always gave thanks to God for all her blessings, and her faith kept her going and gave her great peace and enjoyment in life.