Nelson R. Ramirez of Glendale, Calif., passed away at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank on July 21, 2015 at the age of 73.
Nelson was the loving, long-time companion of Susan Q. Galera, and loving father and proud grandfather to his two sons and their families: Randolph O. Ramirez of Wilton, Conn., his wife Karla and children Gabriela, Alexandre, and Randolph; Reginald Ramirez of Norwalk, Calif., his wife Marie and daughters Isabelle and Danielle; as well as his brother Valentino Ramirez of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and his wife Lily.
Born in San Esteban, Philippines on Sept. 22, 1941 to Severo and Nemesia Ramirez, Nelson graduated from the University of Santo Thomas with a degree in chemical engineering. In 1968, Nelson immigrated to California with just $200 in his pocket, along with a promise to bring his family to the United States after establishing himself as an engineer. He delivered on his promise three years later.
In 1974, Nelson helped found his university’s first engineering alumni association in the United States and was the organization’s first president. He was also an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, with which he maintained close friendships throughout his life.
A retired chemical engineer from Northrop Grumman and Hughes Research Laboratories, real estate investor, and entrepreneur, Nelson plied his engineering craft with dedication. He authored a number of technical articles and processes, ultimately leading to a patent on optical fibers and infrared transmissive material while at Hughes Research Laboratories. Nelson then joined Northrop Grumman as one of the lead scientists on the Peacekeeper Missile Defense System, and capped his 20-year career at Northrop by leading one of the key design teams for the B-2 Stealth Bomber. He retired shortly after the B-2 successfully took flight in 1989.
Retirement wasn’t for Nelson, so he became a licensed California Realtor, brokered and invested in real estate, invested in the development of high-technology companies, traveled the world for fun and business, and enjoyed golf.
Nelson was a devoted son, brother, partner, father, grandfather, and friend. His family was his highest priority, and he is fondly remembered for his meticulous sense of organization, well-timed one-liners, and his infectious laugh. He is survived by his companion, children, grandchildren and brother, and was predeceased by his parents, Severo and Nemesia Ramirez.
There will be a viewing on Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1, at 2:30, at the Old North Church at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, with a graveside service to immediately follow.