Fellow Journalists Pay Tribute to Rich Ramirez

By: Joe Strupp The death of longtime San Jose Mercury News journalist Richard Ramirez, which is being investigated as a possible suicide, has already prompted an outpouring of support from colleagues and friends, many of whom are filling
up a guest book on www.legacy.com.

The Web site devoted to memories of those who have died, which has been linked to a story about Ramirez's death at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Web site, already has eight pages of memories and
condolences from Ramirez co-co-workers and former workmates.

"His wry humor and gentle soul will live on in the hearts of all who knew him," writes Linda Goldston, a Mercury News staffer. "He truly was one of the nicest, most thoughtful people I have ever known. He was a Trojan fan but he never forgot my Lady Vols."

Messages ranged from comments on Ramirez's hard work for the paper and the NAHJ, as well as his love of USC, his alma mater.

"All of us at the USC Annenberg School for Communication are heartbroken to have been notified about the sad news of Rich's passing. We are so sorry and wanted to offer our condolences to Janet, his family and friends," wrote
Amy-Jo Luna, director of alumni relations. "There is obviously no good time or way for someone whom you love to die, especially someone as young, talented and committed as Rich. As an alumnus, earning his BA in journalism in 1984, he made us proud through his print journalism pursuits at the San Jose Mercury News. Rich was a dedicated mentor, a sincere friend, a husband,
a colleague, a professional, a kind and gentle man. He will surely be missed and fondly remembered."

Other news industry professionals who offered support are posted below:

"In my six years at the Merc, I always felt like the best thing about the paper was how professional and supportive so many of my colleagues could be. Rich was a prime example. Always kind and encouraging. Never sullen. It's heartbreaking to think of him gone, and painful to think of the newsroom at this time. I wish I could be there with you today.

Matthai Chakko Kuruvila, San Francisco Chronicle

"My warmest thoughts and prayers go out to Rich's family and dear friends at the Mercury News. I'll always remember his gracious manner. Thanks, Rich, for your tireless work on behalf of APME and the industry.

Donna Reed, MediaGeneral

"A good man, a good journalist and a good person to work with. Rich and I worked together on APME business. He always got the job done. It's a loss for the Merc and the industry."

Glenn Proctor, Executive Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"My heart goes out to Rich's family. While I may have worked with him at the Mercury News for only about a year before I left, we often saw each other at conventions and other journalism affairs -- the last time at the APME
convention in San Jose where he did an excellent job making sure everything was perfect. He was one of the best people I've known. I am deeply saddened and will miss him."

Calvin Stovall, Executive Editor
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Binghamton, N.Y.

"Richard and I, along with some colleagues here in L.A., exchanged e-mails a couple weeks ago and had the privilege of working with Richard as volunteers at the NAHJ convention. I can honestly say Richard was possibly the nicest man I have ever met. We shared a few jokes the first day we met and the following days after, trying to keep our loud laughter to a minimum in the lobby at the Marriott Hotel. I was shocked when I heard the news. He will be missed. My condolences to his wife, the San Jose Mercury News staffers and anyone else who was honored to have met such a gentle and caring man."

Miguel A. Melendez
The Orange County Register


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