Jim Ramsey Obituary, Death – According to Tom Skilling, the chief meteorologist for Channel 9, “He had that beautiful, mellifluous baritone voice that everybody in broadcasting can only dream of having.” “When characterizing Jim, I have frequently mentioned that the quality that stuck out the most… is his humanity. He didn’t carry himself with any pretenses. Simply said, he was quite accessible and had a human quality about him. And he was an expert in the weather in every sense of the phrase. His stepdaughter, Vanessa Wright, stated that Ramsey, who was 69 years old at the time of his death, passed away on April 8 due to natural causes at his home in Island Lake.
Ramsey was raised in South Carolina, where his father managed a radio station. He was given the name James F. Ramsey Jr. and was born in Marion, South Carolina. In 1975, he attended the University of South Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from that institution. Ramsey started his career in broadcasting in 1975 as a news anchor. He told the Tribune in 1982 that he more or less slipped into weather forecasting because it was part of a program at a tiny TV station where he worked. Ramsey’s broadcasting career spanned over four decades. He switched from working in weather to reporting the news on multiple occasions, but he always found his way back to the field of meteorology. He worked as a meteorologist for television stations in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Richmond, Virginia, before moving to Chicago in 1980 to work as a weekend weather forecaster and news reporter for WLS-Channel 7.
During his time at Channel 7, Ramsey worked as a news reporter three days a week in addition to his weekend duties as a meteorologist. In a story that was published in the Tribune in November 1982, Ramsey was described as “a serious, low-key, thoroughly competent weatherman.” Ramsey departed Channel 7 in 1983 and went on to work for WJLA-TV in Washington, District of Columbia, where he was there until 1985. After that, he stopped working in television and went on what he called a “sabbatical.” He lived in his hometown of Mullins, South Carolina, for a period of two years until relocating back to Chicago in 1987 to work at Channel 9 as a weekend weatherman and science and technology reporter.
“Jim was a naturally lovely person who made sitting down and having a conversation with him so much fun. “He was a student of not only the weather, but also of science and philosophy, and during the smoking days when I would smoke, we would sit out back, and we would just talk several times a day because we were both on the same smoking schedule,” Channel 9 news anchor Robert Jordan, who is now retired, said with a laugh. “He was a student of not only the weather, but also of science and philosophy.” Jackie Bange, who was an anchor for the weekend newscasts on WGN for 24 years and worked on the same newscasts as Ramsey, referred to him as “our lovable curmudgeon.”
According to Bange, “He had this great sense of humor, he was so intelligent, and what so many people saw was how caring he was as an individual.” “And he was one of the few people who were able to leave the business on their own terms and leave it in a happy state of mind,” the sentence continues. Anchor of the midday and 4 o’clock weather reports on Channel 9 Demetrius Ivory claimed that Ramsey “took me under his wing and would always try to help me as far as he could” when he first started working at the station in 2013. Ivory explained that in the field of meteorology, the most helpful thing a person can do for another is to give them all of their bookmarks on the internet, which is exactly what happened in this case. “In this fiercely competitive industry, he entered and immediately established himself.”
In 2017, Ramsey left his position at WGN. His stepdaughter shared the following story: “He worked very hard throughout his life, and he said, ‘When I retire, I want to sit in my chair, spend time with my dog, I want to fish, and I want to enjoy time with my wife.'” “Every single day, he carried out that activity,” we are told. The couple’s first marriage did not last and they divorced. Ramsey is left by his wife of 15 years, Leslie; a son, James F. “Joseph” Ramsey III; two other stepdaughters, Christina Lock and Angelica Kurpius; a stepson, Mark Quatraro; four grandkids; and a brother, Art. In addition to his stepdaughter, Ramsey is also survived by his stepdaughter. Services are private.