Ramon R. Hernandez

Ramon R. Hernandez

MADISON-Ramon R. Hernandez, age 78, died on December 7, 2014.

He was born in Chicago, Ill., on Feb. 23, 1936 to immigrant parents Eleazar Dario (Mexican) and Marie Helen, nee Stange, (German) Hernandez. Educated in the Chicago public schools, he received his BA in history in 1957 from Elmhurst (IL) College; his divinity degree in education and Hebrew studies in 1962 from Eden Seminary, St. Louis; and his MA in library science in 1970 from UW-Madison.

On Aug. 11, 1962, he married the former Fern Ellen Muschinske in Merrill, WI. They had three children: Beth Marie (deceased), Robert Frank (Gina): and Marie Marta; and four beloved grandchildren: Rachel Beth, Joshua Benz, Julia Marie, and Devin Robert Hernandez, who survive. He was preceded in death by his daughter Beth Marie (in infancy), his parents, and his sister (and only sibling) Margarita Louise Hernandez.

Mr. Hernandez was an ordained United Church of Christ clergyman, serving churches in Merrill, WI (1960-64) and Pinckney, MI (1994-98). He was UCC WI Director of Youth Work, 1964-70. Upon receiving his Masters degree, he returned to Merrill, WI, to be Director of its public library, 1970-75, before venturing down (the Wisconsin) river to direct the Wisconsin Rapids public library, 1975-83. In 1980, he served as president of the Wisconsin Library Association. In 1983, he accepted the directorship of the Ann Arbor (MI) Public Library, a post he held until retirement from public library administration in July 1994.

During his Ann Arbor years, a new four-story central was constructed; all branches went to seven day-service; and computerized technology was introduced. He was active in community service in all the communities in which he lived, and received several community and professional awards. Active in Rotary, he served as president of the Merrill and Ann Arbor clubs. He served on committees of both the WI and MI Historical societies. He was treasurer of the first Ann Arbor homeless coalition. He also served as a consultant to public libraries in several states on dealing with troubled customers in public libraries.

In retirement, he served on several Madison boards, including the Madison (WI) Public Library, 2000-2006. In church work, he was a MI delegate to the UCC’s General Synod national meetings in 1993 and 1995 (delegation chairman). For 20 years he was active with the UCC’s partnership with the German church, traveling to East and West Germany on seven occasions.

Hernandez listed as his greatest joys: his wife and family; being selected by an East Berlin parish to represent western churches at a new church dedication in Sept. 1984; a selecting member of the historical commit of the MI Women’s Hall of Fame in the early 1990’s; classical music (especially J.S. Bach); and seeing his beloved Chicago Cubs play in 1945, the last time they ever appeared in a World Series.

Memorial services will be held at ORCHARD RIDGE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, on Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11 AM, with the family greeting friends before and after the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to a donor’s favorite charity.

Cremation has already taken place. Inurnment of ashes will be in Merrill Memorial Park.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Avenue
(608)831-6761

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