Burlington resident honored by Ohio Senate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2004

BURLINGTON - Though she never sought any personal recognition, Harriette Ramsey has amassed quite a collection of honors during her years of community work.

She had better make room on her kitchen wall for one more award.

Ramsey, a Burlington resident since 1958 and president of the Concerned Citizens of Burlington since its inception in 1980, received a little surprise last Sunday during service at New Hope Baptist Church in Ashland, Ky.

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In front of a congregation that included her husband Raymond and two of her children, Richard and Georgetta, Pastor Henry Mosley presented Ramsey with a community service award from the Ohio Senate honoring her for her outstanding efforts.

"I was just in utter shock," Ramsey said. "(Mosley) asked me if I wanted to say anything. Of course, I had the tears rolling by then and couldn't talk. They said, 'This is the first time that sister Ramsey is speechless."

Though they were not able to attend, Ramsey is excited to share the honor with her mother, Ella, of Ashland, and her other two children, Raymona and Deborah, who no longer live in the Tri-State.

Over the years, Ramsey and the Concerned Citizens group have worked to make sure every street in Burlington has signs, started the annual Burlington cleanup and added restrooms, a gazebo and shelter to the Burlington Commons Playground.

But the crown jewel of the civic work was acquiring and beginning plans to restore the Old Historic Jail at Burlington, something Ramsey said is "a dream come true" for her.

"I did not think I would see it acquired in my lifetime," she said with a smile. "So, as far as I am concerned, we are ahead of schedule."

Ramsey said she uses a bit of scripture as her motto and guidance.

"Let your light so shine before men, so that they might see your good works and glorify your father who is in Heaven," she quoted.

A sense of long-time dedication has always been a part of Ramsey's life. She has worked as a media specialist at Burlington Elementary for nearly 25 years, has been a life-long member of her church and has worked toward bettering the local community that she loves dearly.

"If you want to make a difference, it starts with one person," she said. "Most of the time, you will find other people who want to join in. We are dedicated. That is what it takes."