Although cancer claimed her life on Sunday, the inexhaustible energy District Clerk Lolita Ramos brought every morning to the Jefferson County courthouse continues to thrive in the hearts of those who worked alongside her.
“Lolita was so well liked by everyone – she brought a great amount of energy to the job,” said Judge Milton Shuffield of the 136th District Court. “One of her greatest strengths was her positive attitude. You can never replace a personality like that.”
Even though the District Clerk’s office lost its leader, the skilled staff Lolita handpicked will ensure the office continues running efficiently and experiences a smooth transition, said Jane Birge, Ramos’ longtime chief deputy.
“She (Ramos) was very careful who she picked. She loved everyone, and everyone loved her,” said Brige as tears overwhelmed her eyes. “Her will carries on here. She had this office running like a machine. We use to joke that we could go missing for several days and the office wouldn’t skip a beat.”
Both Judge Shuffield and Brige commented on Ramos’ administrative proficiency, commending her efforts to “refine” the e-file system the courthouse now successfully implements.
But more than that, Brige said Ramos opened the door for women in Jefferson County, pointing out that in 1986 Ramos was the first woman elected to a countywide office in the last 50 years.
“She broke through the barrier,” said Brige. “She was definitely a leader. She made me better. I learned from her everyday.”
Ramos’ energy even impacted those she indirectly worked with.
“She was a lady of class and distinction, and a pleasure to see in the District Clerk’s Office,” said Port Arthur attorney Langston Adams.
Ramos died Sunday, Oct. 13, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
REPORTER'S NOTE: This reporter will remember his final meeting with Lolita Ramos. She, moving gingerly on a walker, had paid a visit to the clerk’s office a few weeks prior to her death and ordered him to stop pouring over lawsuits and give her a hug.