As a friend reminded us on her last day… “Moe” put on your dancing shoes, Ray is waiting for you. As much as she hated to leave her family, Ramona went forward on June 24 where she was welcomed with open arms by her Lord Jesus, husband Ray Chavez, parents, Sanjuana and Fastino Pantoja, brothers Henry, Conde, Walter, Joe, Jess, Mike, Tony and other family and friends… and, we can’t leave out her favorite furry pals that she missed… Paco, Max and Tino, who would run in circles at her feet knowing she had saved something special for him.
Whether she knew you for years or just met you, Ramona welcomed everyone with her beautiful smile and openheartedness. Her kitchen was definitely the most pleasing place you could ever be. With all four burners on, you could smell the aroma when you pulled into her driveway. No one ever left without being overly full and carrying out a bag of her “Mexican Tupperware” full of remaining food, tortillas and desert. She was the original “Salsa Queen” and her salsa recipe will continue to pass through the family to be shared at many gatherings.
Ramona will be greatly missed by her son John and Rikki Salazar and their children Franco and Sarah, Nathaniel, Tenille and Zac and great-grandson Che’; her daughter Mitzi (Salazar) Reichenbach and her children Damien and Melissa and great-grandson Damien Jr., and Deidre and Jun and great-grandson, Elyjah. She will also be missed by her sisters Marie Aranda, Patty and Pete Garcia, Juanita and Refugio Gutierrez, brother Mingo and JoDean Pantoja, “brother” Butch and Terry Salazar, and several special nieces and nephews.
Ramona maintained an immaculate home and adorned it with family pictures, grandkid’s artwork and little treasures she received or bargained for over the years. She loved tending to her yard and pulled together the perfect combinations for a beautiful display of flowers. Although she occasionally put her grandkids to work, she took pride in doing everything herself, with her special touch. In addition to her family, she could always rely on her special neighbor, Pat Sievers, to tend her yard, mind her mail and run errands.
No matter where she was going, Moe was always a beautiful light of elegance. Moe took so much pride in her appearance and was always asking the question “How is my hair?” There are some things only a hairdresser knows and that’s with her lil buddy, Anita Reagan. After the salon, they always looked forward to eating out or shopping or an occasional $5. She seldom left a store without buying another pair of shoes, purse or sweater… Ramona was always perfectly attired and had a cute sense of fashion; even her granddaughters were tempted to borrow her clothes. “Can you just imagine?”
Moe was tiny, but feisty and that was most apparent in these last few months. Although we’re all going to miss her, we are thankful she is pain free. We thank the staff of Billings Clinic who cared for our Mother and helped us through the difficult days. Special thanks to Dr. Schawnke, Shannon and the special nurses and assistants on the 3rd floor, especially Mercedes, Pat, Susan, Donna, Crystal, Karri, April, Joshua and Billy. Thank you.
At Ramona’s request, cremation has taken place. Services will be at Little Flower Church, 3411 3rd Ave. South, Billings, MT. Vigil Service will be on Tuesday, June 28 @ 7 pm and Funeral Mass on Wednesday, June 29 @ 11 am. Dinner will follow mass and burial will be at Fairview Cemetery in Hardin, MT.