A Lasting Legacy from a Terrific Artist, Gone Much Too Soon

Ruddy Cancel Ramirez recently passed away at the age of 50, much too soon. His legacy in this city will live on for many years — through his art.

It’s only a small solace. 

This fall, Ruddy completed the mural at Tony G’s Grant Park Garage, and other designs and detail work at the South Milwaukee business. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out; it’s a beautiful painting that honors the legacy of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, just feet from the South Milwaukee veterans memorial.

Ruddy had plans for other projects, too, and we discussed those after a recent service at Trinity Lutheran Church in South Milwaukee, where we are both members. 

I just wish he could be with us longer to share his gift, and other passions.

From his obituary

Ruddy had a passion for painting. He also loved to bird watch, and he combined his two favorite hobbies to create extraordinary art. His paintings of various birds & flowers were much admired not only by friends and family, but also by all who frequented the locations where his paintings were displayed. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

We mourn the loss of that spirit at Trinity Lutheran and across the city, and we offer our heartfelt prayers to his entire family, including his mother, three children, two grandchildren, three brothers, three sisters, nieces and nephews.

Many joined me in paying tribute at his funeral on Thursday, sharing memories of the talent that I saw come to life in the years I knew him.

It came to life in big ways, like the mural.

And it came to life in small ways, like in the cross drawing you can see in this post, shared with our pastor. Or in the pencil drawing he did in my 10-year-old daughter’s sketch book in church just recently.

“Always dream,” Ruddy wrote to my daughter. “A journey of wonderful things will come your way. Keep smiling and praying. Never give up hope.”

We won’t, Ruddy. We won’t.

Look for more information soon on how you can help the family. 

 

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