Monday, October 14 2013, 08:36 PM CDT
Lolita Ramos; Beloved friend, boss and public servant
JEFFERSON COUNTY - She helped pave the way for women to work in Jefferson County government.
District Clerk Lolita Ramos died early Sunday morning after battling cancer for more than a year.
Co-workers call her a beloved friend, Boss and public servant.
“Kinda hard to be in here,” said Jane Birge.
It's hard for Jane Birge to know her best friend and boss, Lolita Ramos, won't walk into this office again.
“She's been such an inspiration to me, she's a year younger then I am and she has taught me so much,” said Birge.
Birge and Ramos met 23 years ago while they worked on Ann Richards’ campaign for governor.
“She really was the pioneer for women,” said Birge.
Ramos spent more than three decades serving the people of Jefferson County.
Ten years as district clerk, before that as an administrator for Beaumont’s municipal court. She was also the county clerk.
“He went to her and said you need to be the first female county clerk in Jefferson County,” said Jefferson County Judge Layne Walker.
Judge Layne Walker said it was that conversation between his father and Ramos that inspired her to run in her first election.
“Lolita has paved the way for everybody, bailiff, county clerk, municipal, running David Bernsen office, district clerk, every aspect of Lolita’s life; she was an innovator and a pioneer,” said Judge Walker.
Judge Walker remembers Lolita from his childhood when he called her aunt Jo. She wasn't family, but as close as you can be without those ties.
And she was like a mother to the 28 employees in the District clerk's office.
“She was a fabulous boss, fabulous friend, good consoler, she knew just what she needed,” said Birge.
And her employees didn't want to disappoint according to Birge. They'll cope with the pain of losing their mentor and friend while remembering to put the people of Jefferson County first. Something they say Lolita Ramos did for three decades.
A Christian vigil for Ramos is set for Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm at Broussard's on McFaddin in Beaumont.
Her funeral service is Thursday at 10:00 am at St. Anthony cathedral basilica on Jefferson street in Beaumont.