Gertrude Ramey left a legacy few will ever match in this world.
The late Boyd County resident used the pain and devastating tragedy of her childhood — losing her mother and siblings to influenza — as the motivation for lifelong mission of helping children. At Ramey's childrens' homes in Boyd County she offered the most valuable commodities in this world: shelter, food, and unconditional love to otherwise unwanted children. She gave to thousands of Kentucky kids, crafting a legacy now remembered on the walls of the Kentucky State Capitol at the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit.
"She started when two kids showed up at her door, and she created a boarding house across the street from the (Boyd County) courthouse (in Catlettsburg)," said Boyd County resident Karen Sperry. "She took in a couple of kids, and then started adding and adding."
Sperry was inspired by Ramey's legacy and now wants to honor Ramey locally. She recently appeared in front of the Boyd County and Ashland governments, seeking funding to help craft three historical markers in Ramey's honor. The markers would be placed at the three spots where Ramey had her homes for abandoned and neglected children. Sperry described her goal as "to honor a well-respected lady for the huge contribution that she gave to our community (and) Gertrude's dream of creating a home where no child would ever have to be lonely, but would be cared for and loved."
"I grew up in the Ironville area where her last home was," Sperry said. "She was there in her home at that time. I went to school with some of the kids who went to the home and I remember her coming in and she was a very nice lady. I also have had a soft spot for kids my whole entire life and worked for the Ramey Estep homes for about three years."