María de Jesús “Jessie” Ramirez, 95 of Topeka, KS died Wednesday, December 20, 2017. At the time of her death Jessie was surrounded by her loving and devoted family as she took her last breath and entered the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jessie was born August 3, 1922 in Chanute, KS, the daughter of Cyrillo and Maria (Valdivia) Gonzales.
Earlier in her life, Jessie was a maintenance supervisor at the New England building here in Topeka. She left that employment to help her husband start his business, Augie’s Janitorial Service, working long hours alongside him to make it a success. Later in life she spent many years caring for her grandchildren and great grandchildren after school. They have fond memories of special times spent with her.
Jessie was also a very talented baker and cook. Her homemade tortillas and pies were among her specialties. She also greatly enjoyed working with flowers and growing a vegetable garden, spending countless hours tending to them.
Jessie was a very dedicated and devoted member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. She was an active volunteer at the church, working hard to continually raise money to support its causes. She was a founding member of the OLG Sewing Club and also a member of the Altar Society. She and her husband Augie also spent several years running the parish bingo program, selling burritos at the Topeka Farmers Market, and twice working with her husband when he was chairman of Fiesta Mexicana.
Jessie married Augustine “Augie” Melendrez Ramirez on April 20, 1940 in Chanute, KS. Prior to his death on January 4, 2011 they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. She is survived by her children, Katherine Saenz of Bellevue, NE, Rose Lara, and Marti Gonzales of Topeka, sister Francis Gonzales of Kansas City, and thirteen grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Augie, son Robert, and two granddaughters, Angela Marie Saenz and Elizabeth “Lisa” Saenz, along with her siblings, Albert Gonzales, Cuca Gonzales, Chena De La Torre, Lola Orozco, Pauline Rangel, and Martha Contreras.
Jessie will lie in state after 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home where a Parish Rosary will be prayed at 6:00 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church or the Missionary Society of St. Columban and sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603.
Fond memories and condolences may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.