TYRONE - Even though Jim and Bobbi Ramsay like to keep a low profile, their impact has been felt on their community.
"I don't feel like we do that much," Jim Ramsay, 81, a retired local veterinarian, said.
Community leaders disagree with that assessment of the couple, who moved from Leitchfield, Ky., to Tyrone in 1973.
Mirror photo by Walt Frank
Bobbi and Jim Ramsay are active in the Tyrone community.
"They do not miss a Chamber meeting or a community event. They are at everything," said Rose Black, executive director of the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce. "They do a lot of things behind the scenes. They are tireless workers. Every time they are given a duty, it is done."
Both have been active Chamber members - Jim served two terms as president - as well as with the Tyrone Main Street program and the Tyrone Hospital Corporation and other organizations.
The couple received the Outstanding Service Award from the Chamber in 2007.
Bobbi, a retired teacher, served for 14 years on the Tyrone Area School Board and has been a member of the Tyrone Women's Club for years.
The couple met in 1951 in the dining hall while students at the University of Maryland and were married three years later. Jim graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree in dairy husbandry, leaving college as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the ROTC program.
He went to flight school and became a pilot and was later sent to Hawaii, where he flew C97 transport planes back and forth across the Pacific Ocean.
Jim considered making the Air Force a career.
"I toyed with the idea but realized it was too political to go anywhere," Jim said. "The Air Force did not have too many cows."
It was Bobbi who suggested he became a veterinarian. Jim said it was easier to work with animals than humans.
"There are advantages as a veterinary doctor, compared to an M.D. The animals can't tell you where it hurts. You need to do a physical exam on every patient that comes in. He can't lie either," Jim said. "I think it is easier to work with animals. You make your decisions on what you see rather than what someone tells you."
After Jim earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Georgia, he began his veterinary career in 1963 in Glasgow, Ky. He then moved to Leitchfield, where he purchased a veterinary practice and worked from 1964 to 1973. He and Bobbi moved to Tyrone in 1973 when Jim went to work for Dr. Carl Babe in downtown Tyrone. He purchased the practice in 1977, moved it to Grazierville in 1979 and retired in 1993.
Bobbi, 79, finished her education at the University of Georgia and received a bachelor's degree in business administration.
She taught business classes at schools in Kentucky and after arriving in Tyrone, she taught in the Tyrone Area and Bellwood-Antis school districts as well as the Grier School in Birmingham.
She gave up her teaching career in the mid-1980s to take care of her mother, Bertha Stevens.
Chamber member Lori Eckert said the Ramsays are faithful volunteers.
"They are two of the neatest people who have done so much for the community in Tyrone," Eckert said. "They have done so much for the town [that] people don't know about. They have been very generous. They are great people and active in the community and the [Wesley United Methodist Church]."
Randy Miles said he got to know Jim through the Tyrone Rotary Club.
"The guy is 81 and whenever we need something done, he just does it. This guy, no matter how big the project, he never sees the obstacles. He just sees the objectives and gets it done," Miles said.
Miles said Jim Ramsay is passionate about the Rotary Club.
"Jim has been the most vocal Rotarian I have come in contact with who came to the support of the Rotary Foundation. I can tell you he has donated well into five figures in his kids' names, his wife's name and his name, to the Rotary Foundation," Miles said. "He has donated his service and time to serving the purpose of Rotary, to make a difference in people's lives."
Neither Jim nor Bobbi believe being public servants is anything special.
"It just makes us feel like we are part of the community, part of a big family," Jim Ramsay said. "It is our home. We do it because it is home. We live here."
"It gives us something to do, it would be horrible to just sit at home and do nothing. This is a nice community. People don't give the community organizations credit for what all they do," Bobbi Ramsay said. "We really love where we live. When we moved here from Kentucky, it was the best thing that we ever did. I am very thankful that we did."