Warren and Una Emerson created the Earl and Bertha Ramsey Memorial fund in 1995 to honor Una’s parents’ lives and in memory of their loving family. The scholarship is need-based and is awarded annually.
Earl Alexander Ramsey was born on June 21, 1893 in Lyons, Nebraska. He was one of seven children who lived on a farm in a loving household and made his living as a farmer. He died July 6, 1976.
Bertha Mae Workman was born on April 11, 1892 in Winside, Nebraska and was one of two children. With no help from her family, Bertha put herself through Normal School to become a teacher and taught for several years.
After knowing each other for seven years, Earl and Bertha married on February 28, 1915 and moved to South Dakota. They built a life raising wheat on their farm. Una Christina was born on April 6, 1916 in Clear Lake, South Dakota.
The character and love that her parents instilled in Una can be seen in her little handwritten journal of New Year’s resolutions as a six-year-old: 1. Do better; 2. Work harder; 3. Keep smiling; and 4. Be Cheerful. Those became the core values she embodied and engendered in all who knew and loved her. Earl and Bertha created a loving family environment for Una, and her young life with her folks was filled with activities including games, outings with other families, and catching pollywogs and little fish. She loved to catch butterflies and moths and would store them in an old Prince Albert Tobacco can.
Due to a series of setbacks, prairie fires which burned them out and a debilitating illness, the family relocated closer to other relatives in 1935. At 18, Una became the sole caregiver for her mother, who died November 18, 1938. Even though Bertha was bedfast during this time, she was a strong mentor for Una and the friends she developed were encouragers to Una as well. Una earned a small salary at the University Extension Service, which covered the cost of her small apartment that she shared with her mother, while she worked toward a bachelor of science in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska in June 1941. Her field was Entomology.