Obituary of Avant Ramsey
"Avant Ramsey was called home to Jesus on June 11, 2023. Born September 9, 1953, he was was the first child born in Chicago to a Mississippi family; a family of faith who knew hard work, music and the Lord. Avant spent his childhood in the inner city and he knew how to navigate the streets, steering clear of competing gangs, playing basketball, and riding his bike around Chicago. Avant would talk often about days spent with his father at work in the railyards or watching him sing in a gospel quartet, the Friendly Gospel Singers. He lost his dad to illness when he was nine years old, catapulting him into young manhood.
His mother kept him inside the house as much as possible where she prayed constantly for the family while they watched the Chicago riots erupt from their 9th-floor apartment in the projects. His mother prayed for him and his siblings before school everyday, a tradition he carried on with his own children, Avant and Michael. Avant cared for his family deeply, prayed for them daily, and spent time with them whenever he could.
Growing up, Avant played basketball, sang in a quartet, enjoyed the Eagle Scouts and ham radio club, and explored the world of Chicago. He graduated from Crane Technical High School, later attending Palmer Junior College in DesMoines, Iowa and Xavier University in New Orleans on sports scholarships. After a student protest closed Xavier University for a semester, Avant left for Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Arriving in January during a negative-30-degree night, believing he would take a bus to campus, he was shocked to learn that Billings had one bus, which stopped running around 10:00 p.m. This was one of many episodes that tested his abundant flexibility, resilience, tenacity, and adventurous spirit.
While at Rocky Mountain College, Avant met his wife Barbara, played basketball with people who became lifelong friends, sharpened his love for jazz, fished some of the best rivers in the country, began his holiday sweet potato pie tradition, and welcomed his first son Avant Douglas in 1980. Avant left Rocky Mountain College to work for Burlington Northern Railroad as a journeyman carman, like his father.
After being transferred to Denver, Avant switched careers to work for United Parcel Service (UPS) as a driver. His second son Mike was born in 1986. Avant worked long hard hours and made solid friendships at UPS, finishing his career with a 32-year no-accident Safety Award. When not on the truck, Avant was refereeing basketball, cycling, running with the family dog, watching Western movies or on the hunt for the best Mexican food in Denver, taking his kids with him on trips throughout the metro area and beyond.
Avant had two consuming passions in his life: his faith and his family. Avant first knew the beauty of the Lord’s love,God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit through his parents and grandmother. He passed this legacy on to his family, loving them with patient kindness and good humor. He took a special delight in his grandkids, Iommi and Zahn, spending time with them every possible minute. Avant found his church home at Calvary Church, attending first when a small group of people met in a borrowed school room. Over time, Calvary Church grew, the congregation expanded, and he became the Prayer Pastor. Here he knew a loving church family and was honored to serve Christ for nearly two decades.
Avant was a leader; a gifted man who could bring levity and light to any situation. He cared for many people. He worked hard, rested well, and knew good music. He was a teacher, and a man of God. He was one of the best, and he loved big.
Avant is survived by his wife Barbara, his sons Avant Douglas (Val) and Michael (Caitlin) and grandkids Iommi and Zahn; sister Joyce, brother Derrick, niece Shanna (Shannon), great niece Shakina (Patrick), and great great nephew, Zylan and many nieces and nephews."To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Avant Ramsey, please visit Tribute Store