Mark Ramirez Has Left The Building
Mark Ramirez, the face and heart of 4Memphis recently lost his 3½ year battle with lung cancer. Mark loved the people of Memphis, and the people of Memphis felt his love and loved him back. Mark could be found almost every weekend capturing the kinder side of Memphis life as he covered the people attending the many charity benefit parties of Memphis. His presence was one of the foundations of success for every event being held in Memphis. No benefit could be completely successful without Mark’s appearance, no matter what the cause, the venue, the food, the entertainment − those in attendance looked for Mark to snap their photo for the pages of 4Memphis. It wasn’t really about being in the magazine; it was about feeling the love of his crowd. The emails and phone calls to 4Memphis requesting coverage of an event were always formatted with “can Mark come to our event?” It was not 4Memphis they were asking to be there; it was Mark Ramirez. In the fall during the height of benefit season, Mark would often cover three benefit parties a night. Often 4Memphis' page count wouldn’t have room for all that he covered, but he gave us no choice but to make us give pages to all those he felt deserved to be covered for the work being done for those in need in Memphis.
How does 4Memphis continue without its face and heart? Mark Ramirez cannot be replaced. Yes, we will have someone there to take photos, names of the people and the causes that Mark loved, but they will not bring the same energy into the room that Mark did. Mark in his 17 years of covering Memphis events became a fixture. Mark never joined a club or organization that was hosting the events he covered, but he was their honored guest. The request for Mark to attend an event always came with the invitation and the hope that he would stay for the whole evening.
Mark moved to Memphis in the mid-1990s as part of his 20-year career with the restaurant chain, Catfish Cabin, but it was his life-long love of art through photography and painting was Mark’s driving passion. Mark was an avid painter who studied the work of Picasso. I can tell you how mad (really disappointed) that I am at Mark for not sharing his paintings with his world. Mark's family lived in Texas so Mark's friends were his "Memphis framily" as he would so often say. The friends that helped Mark in his final days were introduced to 100s of canvases of Mark’s Picasso inspired work. A Celebration of Mark’s life in Memphis will be held October 15th, Sunday afternoon, 3:00 to 6:00 at 6564 Cottingham Place. There you will be able to see Mark’s artwork and join me in my frustration that Mark didn’t share this gift with us sooner.
Mark really did consider the people of Memphis his family, he loved living in Elvis Presley’s city, telling your story through his camera. Mark’s sister Bianca finished Mark’s obituary with “Mark has left the building…TCB” Mark’s building was Memphis and its people.
His sister Bianca shared with us Mark’s final words, she was praying over him, ending her prayer saying, “In Jesus' name we pray”, she said, Mark slowly grabbed the crucifix from her and uttered from the depths of his soul, “In Jesus' name we pray, I say again, In Jesus' name we pray, I say again, In Jesus' name we pray” Mark clung to the crucifix as he returned to his peaceful sleep. Rest in Peace Mark Ramirez and thank you for sharing your life with us!!!
Seek the Peace and Prosperity of Memphis.
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