It is with deep sadness we report that Dr. Alejandro Manzano Ramos passed away on Monday, April 12, 2021. Preceded in death by father, Ermenegildo Rosendo Ramos and mother, Manzano Ramos; and surrounded by love from his children, Lisa Ramos (Christopher Haack), Alan Ramos (Liz), Jay Ramos (Janet Neu Ramos), Brittany Eichorn (Justin), and Eric Hinkeldey (Kelsey Bartlett); and beloved grandchildren, Aedan and Ellynor Haack, Jacob and Luke Ramos, Austin and Connor Ramos, and William, Benjamin, Isabelle, and Emmett Eichorn, who will greatly miss him.
He would say to call him Alex. Short in stature but great in impact. He often said, “Dynamite comes in small packages!” A man of God, Family, and the Land.
Alex was a man of very humble beginnings. Born on March 12, 1934 in the poor barrios of Tamurong, in the city of Candon, Ilocos Sur in the Republic of the Philippines; he proved to be brilliant, innovative, and ambitious from the start. He worked in the rice fields from a young age and travelled miles by foot to attend school. Surviving the invasion of the Japanese during World War II, he was captured as a child to gain information about his brothers involved in guerilla fighting to protect their home. Alex was able to escape and go on to graduate from high school at the age of 14 and start his own business of selling coconuts and raising pigs.
Through missionary sponsorship, he was able to go to Manilla where he attended the National University and the Philippine Christian College at the same time. Then his sponsorship brought him to the United States in 1956, where he transferred to Taylor University and completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1958. He completed his Masters in Divinity from Emory University and Doctor of Ministry from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
As an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church, he served in churches throughout Minnesota in Chokio, Pepperton, Menahga, Sebeka, Hubbard, Akeley, Detroit Lakes, Minneapolis, Windom, Hutchinson, Grand Rapids, and Kelly Lake. He served as a college professor, in community organizations and as a hospital chaplain.
Alex’s emphasis on striving to live up to his potential and helping others do the same left a great impact on all of those communities. He did this through his sermons, stories of his own life struggles and by setting examples through his daily life. After repeated suggestions to write a book, he published the story of his journey to the United States in “Stranded No Longer,” which has been used as required reading in schools and colleges.
Alex was celebrated by the Cavite Association of America as the “Most Outstanding Filipino in the Midwest U.S.A 1982 – 83 in Humanities,” an award of which he was particularly proud. His children have all heard many stories of how he positively influenced those who knew him. They all heard over and over, “Your father is an incredible man!” Even those who only knew him for even a short time – right up to his last breaths.
And with all of that, his greatest joy was his family. Sharing stories with his children, teaching them to fish, garden, creatively make and repurpose things, to work with nature, to continually strive to learn and to serve others. As much as he shared with the rest of the world, they always felt they were his priority. He attended as many events, games, and performances as he possibly could. The sparkle of joy and pride when he could see or talk about his grandchildren could light up the world!
Alex, Dad, Grandpa will be deeply, deeply missed.
A memorial service is planned with the date to be determined.
Arrangements are with the Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit www.rowefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.