Obituary: Willa Stillwell Oldham Ramsden

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

A funeral service will be held for Willa Stillwell Oldham Ramsden at Walton's Chapel of the Valley, Carson City, on Friday, May 18, at 10:30 am, followed by interment at Genoa Cemetery. Mrs. Ramsden died on May 12, 2012 at Eagle Valley Care Center in Carson City. She was born on November 27, 1911 in San Diego, California to William Still Well and Martha Ellen Estell Stillwell.

Before moving to Carson City in 1970, she lived in Boulder City, Nevada, and for ten years preceding that she made her home in California.

Mrs. Ramsden was a retired Girl Scout Executive, working with councils in San Diego, San Jose, Fresno and Riverside, California. She was a registered social worker in the State of California, at which time she also was active civically, serving on the board of the San Diego Soroptimists, the Zonta Club of Riverside, and the San Diego Camping Association. She was president of the Girl Scout Executives for Region X11, comprising of Guam, the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Utah, and Arizona. She served on the National Girl Scout Executives Board of Directors. She was president of the Riverside Community Council.

During her professional career, she was given special assignments which included the organization of Girl Scout troops within the Mission Indian reservations of Rincon, Pauma, and Pala; the establishment of the Girl Scout program for families at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base; directed the establishment of the Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Park in the San Jacinto mountains of Riverside County, California; was selected as one of five Girl Scout Executives of the USA to confer with the wives of delegates to the organizational meetings of the U.N. in San Francisco to work out a program for girls in other countries; and selected by the National Girl Scout office in conjunction with the U.S. State department to help Girl Scout Councils in Brazil develop a camping program for their members. In 1956 she was awarded the highest Girl Scout honor for adults ~ the Thanks Badge of the National Girl Scout Council.

On October 16, 1956 she married Clifton John Oldham of Riverside, California. They moved to Boulder City, Nevada, in November 1960 and were active in horse circles, including the development of an Appaloosa Horse Club at the request of the National Appaloosa Association. Raising show and racing Appaloosas was the major avocation for the Oldhams. They worked closely with the National Appaloosa Club promoting the breed, they organized the Las Vegas Appaloosa Club, and were responsible for bringing the World Wide Appaloosa Championships to Las Vegas. In 1969 they received the National Appaloosa Horse Club award for promotion of the breed. They were active in the Boulder City Horseman's Association. Mrs. Oldham was a member of the Lariettes, the parade auxiliary to the Las Vegas Mounted Posse. At the request of the State Park Commission of Nevada in 1968, they toured Nevada contacting horse owners and made a report to the Commission on the needs and desires of horse owners for more consideration for facilities and activities to accommodate the equine population.

Moving to Carson City in 1970, Mrs. Oldham continued her full time writing activities. From 1973 through 1986 she wrote full page features for the Nevada Appeal relating to personal profiles, travel, state history weekly as well as various critique columns. In addition she has written some 500 articles for national, regional and state magazines and newspapers. Earlier on she was chosen to be one of the 90 invited journalists to attend the dedication of the Palomar observatory in San Diego County.

Continuing her civic interests here, she served as a member of the Republican Central Committee and the board of directors of the Republican Women's Club, the Docent Council of the Nevada State Museum, the Carson City Bicentennial Commission, and the Community Concert Association. She chaired the Carson City Ad Hoc Committee on Recreational Vehicles in 1979, the Christian Leadership Seminary in 1983, the Conference on Pornography in 1984, the Carson City Senior Conference in 1985, and was on the organizing committee for F.I.S.H. and for the Hospice of the Sierra Sage. For six years she was a member of the team that spoke for the Carson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership training course.

Taking an active part in church work was always important to her. She has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Carson City since 1972. In 1977 she was given an Honorary Life membership in the Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A. She was ordained a deacon of the local church in 1978, serving six years on the local board, and five years as chairman of the board.

Her book, "Carson Tahoe Hospital ~ the Story of a Caring Community," was published in 1986, followed by "Carson City ~ Nevada's Capital City," in 1991. Recently she had completed "Nevada Dateline," and has been working on a book relating to volunteers in the life of a church.

Clifton John Oldham died February 23, 1984. On April 4, 1992 she married Percy Herbert Ramsden. His death occurred on October 8, 1993.

Among the survivors for Willa Ramsden are: step-daughter, Margaret 'Peggy' Loretto of Carson City; nephew, Donald Oldham of Naples, Florida; grandchildren, Joy La Monda of Longwood, Florida, Jeannette Loretto Kerns and Jennifer Loretto of Carson City; great-grandchildren, Terran and Kellian La Monda of Longwood, Florida, Ealion Kerns of Carson City; and grand-niece, Jennifer Lynn Oldham of Orlando, Florida.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Advocates to End Domestic Violence, PO Box 2529, Carson City, NV, 89702, or to the Ross Medical Clinic of F.I.S.H., 138 E. Long St., Cason City, NV, 89706. Waltonis Chapel of the Valley, Carson City, is entrusted with the arrangements, (775) 882-4965.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment