Farm Animals 10

Rosemarie Ramos Stephens

October 19, 1925 ~ January 4, 2024 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Rosemarie Stephens Obituary

Rosemarie Ramos Stephens 

After living a remarkable 98 years, our most precious Rose drew her last breath this side of eternity on Thursday, January 4 at 11:10 AM. 

She was in her home surrounded by daughters, grandchildren, & other loved ones. Rose was born to Azorean immigrant, Frank H Santos, & Portuguese mother, Germina Nunes Santos, in Lanare, CA on October 19, 1925. She was the sixth of 11 children. 

Her family had a small dairy farm & her dad was also a sheep herder to provide for the family. Every member helped however they could. As a young girl, Mom cared for the younger children & helped her older sister Adeline cook for their father and older boys who worked the farm. 

Mom never spoke about the “Great Depression”, per se, but stories of losing the farm, driving cattle down streets to move to new property, farming out children after two housefires, putting the cornflake box cardboard in shoes with holes, sleeping multiple kids head to toe in beds, taking turns in the same bathwater, swimming (& nearly drowning) in the canals, spoke to the times. Mom would say “we didn’t know we were poor”.  Their bodies survived on Grandma’s homemade bread, couves (kale) soups, milk, butter, & meat from the farm. Their souls thrived on the love & laughter they shared with one another.

She and her siblings grew to farm the land, raise livestock & serve in the military. They married, had children, & remained incredibly close.  In the earlier days when money was scarce, it wasn’t uncommon to go visiting family after church. 

A young cowboy named Johnny Ramos came courting Mom on a horse one day nearly losing his head when he ran into a clothesline. Our 17 yr old mom married him after graduating high school in 1943. They began their lives in a little house Dad built. They milked their two cows to bring in $40 a month. $20 went to the bank for the house payment & $20 for groceries.

Mom drove horse-drawn hay wagons & eventually tractors. She fed calves, milked cows, kept the books & the house. She had babies & raised them. She prepared meals for family, neighbors, and helpers. She always had hot coffee for whoever walked through the kitchen door. She was a wonderful cook & passed on a love of cooking to each of her daughters. 

On occasion, she would grab a child under her arm and run out to gather cattle that broke through a fence or help deliver a breach calf. Sometimes she would put a baby in a playpen in the barn while helping to milk the cows. We grew up with church pinches & parochial school. We all talked back but only once. Lesson learned. 

She was married for 32 years to our father Johnny and lived a farmer’s life. 

In the late 70s, she began a completely different journey when she married retired Command Sergeant Major Gene Stephens. That marriage took her & her youngest daughter to Arizona, & then back to the Sierra Nevadas in California, where she worked for the next two decades in the hospitality industry, owning & operating lodges & restaurants. She excelled in everything from keeping the books to dealing with vendors, helping in the kitchen, renting rooms, managing staff.  There wasn’t a customer who did not love and appreciate Mom.  She enjoyed meeting so many interesting people from so many different places. She loved the snow and the beauty of the Sierras.

Rose eventually returned to Hanford in 1997 where she loved being close to daughters & growing grandchildren. She was able to participate in graduations, confirmations, weddings, & so many other family events.

Even as her mobility declined in her 90s, she took great joy in watching her grands, greats, & great great grandchildren grow; her face lit up every time a grandchild approached her. She’d put her hand on their cheeks & beam with love.

In these past five years, she & her siblings gathered for birthdays & other occasions. Each time they were together, they were instantly transported to their youth with their wild (sometimes harrowing) stories, hands & arms waving, faces lit up, layers of laughter. Even through Covid, they were the best medicine for one another.

Our mom was the matriarch of our family. She carried a mantle that seemed to represent each sibling who had passed before her. She deeply loved the children of her brothers & sisters. She loved when the family gathered at reunions throughout the years. 

As she became a bit more house-bound, she was blessed with wonderful friends & caring neighbors who visited & often brought hand-picked flowers & something homemade to share with her.

Rose was salt of the earth, no guile or frills. She was hard working, loyal & devoted to her family. She always put one foot in front of the other & did what needed to be done, even into her final days. She’s inspired us to do the same. We will always be grateful to know her as Mom. We are comforted to know that she has taken her well-deserved rest with Jesus, Author & Finisher of our faith.

She is survived by brother Robert Santos, & baby sister, Dolores Negrete, Daughters Beverly Hussey (Buddy), Patty Eisenman (Steve), Linda Heinbach (Chuck), Janette Ramos, grandchildren, Tracey Williams (Willie), Eric Hussey (Brenda), Ryan, Eisenman (Jen), Heather, Hennecke (Ryan), Joshua (Jamie) Heinbach, Trenton Eisenman (Hollie), Jeremy Heinbach (Jana), Danica Eisenman. Great grandchildren Hayden Hussey, Morghan Dildine (Taylor), Austin Hussey, Olivia Heinbach, Drew Hennecke, Presley Heinbach, Blake Hennecke, Camryn Heinbach, Jackson Heinbach, Chelsea Eisenman, Katelyn Eisenman, Stover Eisenman, Coral Eisenman & Brady Eisenman. Great-great grandchildren Raegan Dildine & William (Liam) Dildine. In-Laws, Frank Martin, Jean Ramos, Stephens family, Myrtle Stephens, Allen Stephens, Terri Cassese, Sunday (Tore) Stephens Pearson & family, Margaret Stephens Kilpatrick & family, & Amber Stephens & family. 

Rose is preceded in death by Parents Frank & Germina Santos, Husband Johnny Ramos Sr & Son Johnny Ramos Jr, Husband Gene Stephens & his children Chuck, Amber, & Brian. Brothers /Spouses Herman & Dorothy Santos, Frank Jr & Elaine Santos, Ed & Olivia Santos, Clarence & Lena Santos, & Manuel Santos. Sisters/Spouses Adeline & Al Kandarian, Velma Santos, Ruth & Al Cunha, In-laws Jess Negrete, Manuel & Eleanor Ramos, Gus & Mamie, Alex Ramos, Angie Martin, Ralph & Sue Stephens.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Rose-McCarthy Catholic School or the charity of your choice. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rosemarie Ramos Stephens, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Visitation
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

10:30 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Brigid's Catholic Church
1001 N. Douty Street
Hanford, CA 93230

Recitation of the Rosary
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Brigid's Catholic Church
1001 N. Douty Street
Hanford, CA 93230

Funeral Mass
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

11:30 AM
St. Brigid's Catholic Church
1001 N. Douty Street
Hanford, CA 93230

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