Elodia P. Ramirez passed away on Oct. 17, 2019.
Sometimes if I close my eyes, I can still smell her fried chicken. My mom made the best fried chicken. People drooled when they thought of her chicken. She also made the best salads, tamales, tacos, sandwiches, homemade anything, best banana bread and basically anything that was food-related. I could go on, but you get the picture. She was truly an artist in the kitchen. She also could sew anything, from a scarf to a designer dress. Put any picture in front of her and she could sew it from scratch, without a pattern, or she could make her own pattern from sight. She taught herself to crochet, knit and embroider. She also quilted. Her embroidery was her joy and she gave many an embroidered gift. She was also an artist with her sewing and crafting abilities. She sold her homemade hot sauce and tamales for years to restaurants (Three Swans and Harvest House) and for weddings, events and occasions, way before anyone else and before it became popular in the Northwest.
Elodia was born on Sept 4, 1927. Her father died when she was 9 (during the Depression) and in order to keep the family together, my mom quit school at 11 and joined the work force. The two older girls and mother did everything they could to survive and support themselves and the two younger sisters. When my mom was 11 she worked at the dry cleaners and cleaning houses for people. Later in life she worked in the fields, pruning and tying raspberries, hoeing, picking cotton, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries. She also worked in the potatoes and the cannery in Everson.
She did not mind so much having to quit school. She was left-handed, but was forced to use her right hand at all times, sometimes enforced with hand beatings. As it turned out, this was not necessarily the worst thing as it meant she could use either hand effortlessly. In the 1970s she did adult education and got up to eighth grade level.
The two older sisters got married. My mother got married at 19 when her mother died, and she kept the two younger sisters (ages 14 and 17) until they got married (six and seven years later). There were more than 25 nieces and nephews from her four sisters, and mom helped with almost all them at one time or another. Most of them spent weeks to a whole summer with her (us). She also had two nephews and one niece from my dad’s side that she raised and kept for several years. She never turned anyone away, any in her path who needed help.
She supported me in all my ventures and crazy (crazy to some, realistic to me) ideas. She was always ready willing and able to help me with whatever artistic endeavor I might decide to take on. We had a foster day care business for several summers, together as partners; I was her helper even though I was only 12-13 years old. She trusted me to follow my natural instincts and taught me to realize that I had a natural guidance. She taught me to trust myself, trust my inner guidance, trust my instincts, and to not be afraid of what is next.
She adored Nicholas and Kristoffer (my sons), my father and me. We were her whole life. In her later years she was lost to dementia, which was really sad, but she continued to carry on, even without my father, whom she adored and was married to for 62 years before he left this great planet. Between the two of them and being complete opposites (her flighty and him serious), I became the person that I am ... and my children are who they are. Serious, fun-loving, hard-working, get things done kind of people. Thank you, Elodia, Lodi, Lola and E, as some called you.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters Aida, Mary and Olivia; her brother Zaragosa; and several other siblings who died at birth or early in life; and her beloved husband Ben.
She is survived by: daughter Anne (Jon) Blair; grandchilden Nicholas (Shawna) Dekriek, Kristoffer (Kelly) Dekriek; greatgrandchildren Isaac, Payton, Sierra, Tatum, Westin and Holland Dekriek; and a sister, Elida Ramirez.
In a world where you can be anything, she chose to be kind. And she loved music and she loved to dance, even to the very end.
Services will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home & Cremation Services.