Ohio State alumni work together to make proper burial possible for Joseph Ramirez
They have made contact with his family to help make arrangements
Joseph Ramirez was a kind and respected member of the Ohio State community. For those unfamiliar with Joseph, he could usually be found near the Starbucks on High Street selling papers on behalf of the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless. He was an advocate for those who had fallen into hard times.
As news circulated of Joseph's passing, further details revealed it is possible Joseph will not receive a proper burial for various reasons— lack of available funds being one of them. It has also been difficult to locate his next of kin in order for a funeral service or burial to be arranged. Since his passing a few Ohio State alumni, who had come to know Joseph during their time as students, took it upon themselves to help make a burial possible.
Former students Chris McConaughy and Michael Brockman, along with Audra Heinrichs, worked tirelessly to help locate Joseph's next of kin to figure out the complicated situation together. As of today Chris and Audra were able to track down Joseph's family using Facebook and have begun reaching out to them. It is unclear at this time whether or not the family is aware of his passing. Chris, Michael, and Audra have selflessly stepped forward to honor an important and influential part of the Ohio State community.
Joseph met everyone who passed by with a smile and was a point of positivity on campus. Shortly before his passing The Tab reported on a crowdfunding initiative created by Michael to send Joseph to Orlando to visit his children for the holidays. The campaign was fully funded, but unfortunately Joseph was unable to make the trip before he passed away.
"I met Joseph a long time ago, I used to walk by him all the time, and I donated to his cause when I could. The more I walked and talked to him, naturally, the more I learned about his life", said Michael.
A memorial service organized by Chris will take place on January 11 at 5:30PM in the Ohio Union Round Meeting Room. The memorial "will share a little bit of Joseph's story, perhaps some details you did not know about his life. We will also have a time dedicated to sharing stories, quotes, and laughter."
Recently, Chris told The Tab he is "meeting with a funeral home on Saturday morning to finalize the details, but it sounds like we will be able to bury him [Joseph] at The Union Cemetery, and it will likely cost around $6,000 to $7,000." A GoFundMe campaign has been created by Audra Heinrichs to help raise the rest of the funds needed for Joseph's burial.
It's time to come together one last time to help a man who loved the Ohio State community. Audra asks community members to donate only what they're comfortable with, and if you can't donate to please share the campaign with others.