Albert “Big Al” Ramirez, 48 passed peacefully at his home in Wilmington NC, with his mother and sister at his side on December 1, 2013. Albert was born in Suffern, NY on April 2, 1965. He is survived by his mother, Yvonne Carol Boutelle, sister Maxelle Patricia Boutelle and half sister Desiree O’Neill and four nephews. He is also survived by: his aunt Suzanne Medenbach and her husband Erich, his uncle Paul Boutelle and his wife Maryanne, six aunts and eleven cousins.
Al graduated from Goshen Central High School, in Goshen, NY in 1983. In high school he was a wrestler, track star and football all-star that drew the attention of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After passing the rigorous academic and physical exams, he was declined admission due to his hearing loss. Ultimately he received a football scholarship to California State College in Pennsylvania. He was the only freshman to make the varsity football team that year, when in November 1983, his kidneys failed due to Alport syndrome, a rare hereditary disease. Al returned home to Goshen and awaited a kidney transplant, which he received in 1990. He competed in the 1990 Transplant Olympics where he was awarded the Bronze Medal for Shot Put, by Carl Lewis, Olympic track-star. He acquired his Stock Broker’s license and worked as a broker on Wall Street until 1995 when his kidney rejected and failed. He moved to Wilmington, NC in 1998 where he resumed his studies, majoring in History and English at the University of NC in Wilmington. He maintained a 4.0 grade point average and made Dean’s and President’s list every year, and Al would have graduated May of 2014. This past September 7th, Al was honored by being inducted into the Goshen Football Hall of Fame. That glorious Saturday afternoon at the Goshen High football field, surrounded by his teammates, friends and family meant more to him than any of us imagined. He returned to NC filled with pride and deep gratitude for the honor and love expressed at the ceremony and party which followed that evening. It was the highlight of his last thirty years, and we are eternally grateful he was healthy enough to make the trip to Goshen for the celebration.
Al loved: Goshen, the Miami Dolphins, chocolate, AC/DC, reading, Yankees baseball, listening to: Audra McDonald, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and James Taylor, sleek sports cars, GOOD NY pizza, long hot showers, Dunkin Donuts and most importantly, his family and friends.
In early April of 2014, we will have a memorial service at St. John’s in Goshen, and a celebration of Al’s life at Delancey’s in Goshen. Further information will be available on Al’s facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/al.ramirez.543, or you may email us at email@example.com.
In lieu of flowers, please make any donations in Albert’s name to: The Alport Syndrome Foundation, alportsyndrome.org.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099