McALLEN Matias Ramirez, 81, entered eternal rest on Saturday, December 3, 2011, at McAllen Medical Center.

Matt was born on February 24, 1930, to Juan and Acencion Ramirez, both deceased. Also preceding him in death are his ex-wife, Aida Gonzalez Ramirez, and two brothers, Catarino and Francisco Ramirez.

Left to cherish Matt's memory are his wife, Maria Julia "Julie" Ortiz Ramirez, his three daughters and sons-in-law, Lucy and Philip Lee; Dina and James Newman; and Norma and Ross Granby and their blended family of sons, Matthew "Matt" Mangham and Zachariah and Joel Granby; Julie's daughters and sons-in-law, Patti and James DeBaun and their daughters Kayla and Kelsey Chandler; Araceli and Rafael Zizumbo and their daughter Andrea and son Rafael; and Paz and Jose Vargas and their son Moises "Moy."

Matt is also survived by his sister, Eustolia "Tola" Segura, her daughter and son-in-law Noelia and Ramon Sanchez, and her son and daughter-in-law Victor and Petra Segura. He is also survived by his brother, Ramon and wife Petra and their children, John Ramon and wife Kristy, Ricardo and wife Blanca, Rodolfo, Sandra, Gila Ann, and Ascencion and husband Richard. Also surviving are the children of his brothers Catarino and Francisco: Grace, Eddie, Nellie, Diana, Norma and Adolfo Ramirez, as well as many other nieces and nephews whom he loved. You know who you are.

Matt began working at the age of 14 at Harry's Shoe Repair in downtown McAllen, then worked for more than five decades at Womeldorfs Sporting Goods Store. He spent the rest of is working years with Danny Gallegos at Danny's Pawn Shop, retiring well into his 70s.

Matt never met a stranger, was an avid reader and fisherman, and loved his Dallas Cowboys and Houston Astros, win or lose. Matt was a walking encyclopedia when it came to firearms and was a staunch protector and defender of the Second Amendment and the NRA. Enough said.

A very special thank you to Dr. Erik Tavarez, Dr. Norman Ramirez, Dr. Tommy Yee, Dr. Cesar Martinez and all the nursing staff on the Fifth Floor and ICU unit at McAllen Medical Center.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. with a memorial service to be held at 7 PM at Kreidler Funeral Home in McAllen, on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011.