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Sunday, April 12, 2020


St. Augustine High School has been at Nutmeg and 32nd Street in historic North Park since 1922.

Editor’s note: Mrs. Paula Brock, friend and benefactor of St. Augustine High School wrote the following biographical sketch of Anna Marie Ramirez.  Mrs. Brock is the CFO of the San Diego Zoo and was Anna Marie’s dear friend.  It was originally published in Saints Scene, the community outreach newsletter of the school.

Guest Blog / By Paula Block--Anna Marie Ramirez.  She was born on December 17, 1927 in San Francisco, the only child to parents who had come from Mexico.
         She attended grammar and high schools run by the Dominican Sisters. Although she wanted to go to college, she did not have the opportunity.  I do not know much about her work life, or how the family came to live in San Diego, her father was in the maritime business and I think that is what led them here.  When I first met her, she and her father lived in their home at 3133 Nile Street, as her mother had already passed. 
         He lived to be 100 and she was devoted to him.  She never married and after her father died, she lived alone in their home. I know her from attendance at daily Mass.  She usually sat behind me. She was quiet, and quite honestly a bit quirky.  My limited conversations were very short, and usually involved some sort of criticism of how I looked on any particular day.  It was a rather odd way to form a rather odd friendship.  But a friendship it was.
         After she was missing for a few days from Mass, we became concerned.  It was then discovered her dementia had worsened.  With the help of Father John Keller, a former Principal of the school, we learned that she had made me executor of her estate.
         This at first seemed to be a heavy burden, but in reality it was a great gift of grace.  Again, with the help of the Augustinians, I was able to place her in Nazareth House, reconstruct her life by finding documents and putting my audit experience to work, to manage her affairs. While she lived at Nazareth House, I would visit her on Saturdays.  Before dementia took over totally she would tell me stories about her life and I was able to develop a picture of who Anna Marie Ramirez was. She prayed for my family and she became very loving.

Anne Marie Ramirez
         She loved the Lord and His Blessed Mother—unquestionably and completely.  She was very modest and frugal in her life and respected those who lived that way. Because of that way of life, she was able to amass the estate she had when she died.  She loved St Augustine HS, and liked seeing the boys there when she attended daily Mass at the Chapel.  When she decided she wanted to leave a large bequest to the school, she said she wanted it to go “to the boys”.  She was called to be with the Lord on December 18, 2018.
         Although she did not specifically detail how her bequest was to be used, I am very confident that she would like her gift to have an enduring nature to it.   Because she wanted it to go “to the boys,” I would see her wanting a scholarship fund established to provide tuition to deserving boys who could not afford to attend Saints.  As a result of Anna Marie Ramirez’s gift, this humble, small in stature and kind woman has bequested the school with $564,000.
         Recently, the Board of Directors established the Anna Marie Ramirez Scholarship on Thursday, January 20, 2020.  According to Ed Hearn, the President of Saints, “This scholarship will generate funding for a full-scholarship in perpetuity and make a Saints education possible for generations of underserved young men.”  We are honored to have received this gift from a lady who lived simply, saved and made so much possible for so many young men.”
         This scholarship is part of the Saints growing Endowment Fund.  Since July 1, 2018, the Saints Endowment Fund has grown from $4.8 million to $8.1 million.  With nearly three years left in the campaign, the $10 million goal is now in sight.  Once realized, this Fund will generate $500,000 in perpetuity for tuition assistance for generations of Saintsmen.  We are indebted to people, like Anna Marie who think about making an impact on our young men at Saints now and into the future.

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