DAVID E. RAMAKER

David E. Ramaker, 72, of Springfield, Virginia and formerly of Oostburg, WI passed away on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at his home.

David was born on August 11, 1943, in Sheboygan, WI, son of Allen and Alma (VerGowe) Ramaker. He was a graduate of Oostburg High School. David received his Bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee and his PHD from the University of Iowa. On September 3, 1966, he married Beverly Back at Gibbsville Reformed Church.

David was a professor of chemistry at George Washington University (GWU) for 38 years and a researcher at the Naval Research Lab. David’s ground-breaking research in spectroscopic (X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Auger Spectroscopy) characterization of catalysts and electro catalysts with applications to fuel cells and batteries contributed to him receiving the following awards: The Hillebrand Prize of the Chemical Society for original contributions to the science of chemistry, the Colombian Scholar Award for research in physical chemistry, the Trachtenberg Award for faculty research, the Bender Teaching Award for outstanding teaching, and the Alan Berman Research Publication Award. He was also Chairman of the GWU Chemistry Department from 1988 to 1996 and the Debye Chair at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in 2002. David is author to over 200 publications and 200 invited and contributed presentations to physical and theoretical chemistry. He was known for making the courses he taught come alive and for his uncanny knack for describing abstract concepts in ways that made them accessible to his students

David was a member of Gibbsville Reformed Church during his childhood years and then a 40-year member of Grace Christian Reformed Church in Burke, VA. He was an active member serving as elder, deacon, and chair of various committees. He also taught adult Sunday school for 38 years. David loved gardening and traveling (the Netherlands being one of his favorites). He enjoyed scientific research and continued writing papers even after his retirement.

David is survived by his wife of 49 years: Beverly; his two daughters: Julie (Marc) Poole of Woodbridge, VA and Jacqueline (Charles) Dains of Alexandra, VA; his two sons: Jan (Kimberly) Ramaker of Woodridge, IL and Jason (Johannah) Ramaker of Crown Point, IN; seven grandchildren: Marc, Jordan, Brendan, Nathan, Ryan, Lydia, and Samantha; five brothers: Ronald (Ruth) Ramaker, Daniel (Karen) Ramaker, Stanley (Bonnie) Ramaker, Philip (Joan) Ramaker, and Wendell (Diane) Ramaker; and one sister-in-law: Judy (Bill) Stalter. David was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services to celebrate David’s life will be held at 11a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg, WI with Rev. Paul VanDyken. Burial will take place at Gibbsville Cemetery in the Town of Lima.

Relatives and friends may gather at the funeral home on Friday, April 22, 2016, from 4 until 7p.m. and also on Saturday from 10 until the time of the service at 11 a.m.

There will also be a Memorial Service held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Grace Christian Reformed Church.

In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to either: Grace Christian Reformed Church, 9800 Lake Rd., Burke, VA 22015 or World Vision, P.O. Box 78481, Tacoma, WA 98481 or call 888-511-6519. Use the code 31003740 in the memo line of the check or give it on the phone to donate the gift in David’s memory.

For online condolences and additional information please visit www.wenigfuneralhome.com.

The staff of the Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg (920-564-2771) is assisting David’s family with arrangements.


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