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20130215 FIRESTATIONNO.3 CELESTINO-RAMIREZ DEDICATION CAB 0055 featureMISSION – Last Friday, the City of Mission dedicated Fire Station No. 3, at 1804 N. Shary Rd., in honor of former Mission City Councilman Celestino Ramirez. Ramirez passed away in 2009.

Ramirez was a life-long resident of the City of Mission, graduating from Mission High School in 1965. After graduation he served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Upon his return home, Ramirez continued his education, attending Pan American College where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He then worked for Pharr-San Juan-Alamo School District for 35 years, serving as a teacher, counselor and a principal.

Ramirez served on several city advisory groups before becoming part of the city council in 1993. He served six terms, ending with his death in 2009.

During his time on the council, Ramirez supported numerous construction projects including Fire Stations No. 3, No. 4, the central fire station, public safety building, expansion of Speer Memorial Library, expansion and renovation of Mission Boys and Girls Club, drainage improvements, and the expansion of the north water plant.

He also supported measures such as the reduction of property taxes and a tax freeze for disabled and elderly citizens.

One of his last wishes was to see the completion of the Anzalduas Bridge and the new chamber of commerce building.

“He was definitely a man that was well respected,” said Deputy City Manager Aida Lerma at the dedication ceremony. “We are really proud today that we honor him and dedicate this building in his memory.”

“This was a vision of his,” said Mission Fire Chief Ricardo Saldaña. “His voice made this happen. Without the hard effort of Mr. Ramirez, this wouldn’t be here.

“We thank his family for sharing him with us and helping make this building what it is today,” continued Saldaña.

A family friend, Jorge Cavazos said Ramirez was truly a man vested in the success of Mission. He was an inspiration to all that knew him.

He shared a vision for the future, said Cavazos. He never let his guard down and was optimistic about any endeavor he was involved in. He was a man of integrity, action and perseverance, he said.

He lived a life of community service and impacted the lives of all of us. He helped with policies that will impact the lives of generations to come. He fought a good fight, raced a good race, and left a legacy, said Cavazos.

Abiel Flores, son-in-law of Ramirez, also spoke. He said a true public servant doesn’t want recognition. He wants to do what he was elected to do to the best of his abilities.

“That’s exactly what Ramirez did,” said Flores.

He took his job seriously and he loved it.

Flores said, no matter where Ramirez went, community members would approach him and talk to him about concerns they had. Ramirez didn’t mind that, said Flores. He never complained. He would get home and make phone calls to get a resolution.

“He had nothing but the best intentions for our city,” he said.

Having this building named after Celestino gives us the opportunity to answer the questions of our children, of our grandchildren when they ask who he was, he said. We can teach them about his values, his dedication, and his public service.

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