Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey appreciate the work of Southwestern Medical Foundation to advance progress in medicine and have made a generous gift to support the faculty of two specialties – gastroenterology and palliative care – at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
They have directed their gift from the Mary Stewart Ramsey Family Charitable Fund of North Texas Community Foundation to support the Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey Fund for Gastroenterology Faculty Support in honor of Dr. Mack Mitchell and the Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey Fund for Palliative Care Faculty Support in honor of Dr. Steven Leach. By helping to grow the palliative care program, they hope elderly populations will receive the best care possible that will ensure the highest quality of life for the remainder of their lives.
Drs. Leach and Mitchell have become not only our doctors, but also our friends. They have been so helpful to us, our extended family, and our good friends, and we have great trust in them. Our gifts will be used primarily to recruit new faculty to help fill the needs in these specialized areas.Jim Ramsey
As a Trustee of the Southwestern Medical Foundation board for the past two decades, Mary Stewart has witnessed firsthand the Foundation’s impact on North Texas.
“Over the past 20 years, I have watched Southwestern Medical Foundation grow from a small foundation into a significantly large foundation. UT Southwestern is one of the biggest jewels in our community, and through my role as a Foundation Trustee, we have been able to meet outstanding faculty and familiarize ourselves with their transformative work. Our community is fortunate to have access to physicians who can provide world-class medical care to patients who suffer from illness and disease,” she said.
Mary Stewart spends her life thinking and acting with a greater purpose in service to others. As a Trustee, she has inspired me through her devotion to the work we do. Jim and Mary Stewart are both extraordinary people and friends of the Foundation and UT Southwestern. These gifts deeply honor the work of Drs. Leach and Mitchell, while providing needed resources to train and mentor new physicians who will follow in their footsteps.Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation
The power of community
Mary Stewart and Jim were born, nurtured, and shaped by their small-town upbringings where they learned to support their neighbors through triumphs and struggles. She was born in Navasota in southeast Texas, and he was born in Overton in northeast Texas.
“My father was the city manager of the town, so he was very interested in all aspects of it,” said Mary Stewart. “My mother was a schoolteacher who taught Sunday school and was a leader for the Bluebird and Campfire organizations. They were very giving of their time and really cared about the people of our community, which made a big impression on me.”
Jim’s father was Superintendent of the Gulf Oil Company refineries in Overton and Kilgore. As a young man, Jim was impressed by his father’s interest in finding summer work for college athletes and other deserving young boys.
Both, Mary Stewart and Jim attended The University of Texas at Austin, where they discovered a whole new world. UT was a major university with a campus population that exceeded the populations of each of their small towns. Although their paths crossed at UT, they went their separate ways after graduating.
Mary Stewart taught at a school for the deaf in Philadelphia, and then moved to Fort Worth where she and her first husband raised three children. She worked as a community liaison for various hospital systems, helping to raise money to invest back into the community. She was President of the Junior League, an active volunteer and served as the first female Chairman of the United Way in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
After completing a business degree at UT Austin, Jim earned his law degree. He worked as an intern for a famous trial lawyer in Dallas, where he eventually settled and built a strong business network. During his career, he owned a law firm, worked as a senior prosecutor for the district attorney’s office, and worked as a mediator. Here he raised three children with his first wife before her passing.
A twist of fate
Almost four decades after they attended UT, Mary Stewart and Jim were re-introduced by mutual friends from their college days. They have been together ever since. Today, after 27 years of marriage, they are enjoying life surrounded by their beautiful family of five children and 14 grandchildren.
“I had lived in Fort Worth for 33 years, and Jim lived in Dallas,” said Mary Stewart. “I was well-connected to the Fort Worth community, but I moved to Dallas after we married. It was difficult at first, but I love both cities now. They complement one another. It has been a wonderful experience to be part of our blended family who all care about each other and enjoy one another. We try to celebrate all the birthdays, christenings, weddings, holidays, and we gather with as many people whenever possible,” said Mary Stewart.
They continue to improve life for others in the community. They are committed to church activities, including their efforts to revitalize the Southeast Dallas community through Jubilee Park. As a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Jim has enjoyed supporting education and therapeutic programs for underserved youth and their families.
Mary Stewart says her involvement with the Key School for Learning Differences in Fort Worth has been life-changing. And as a Trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation, she hopes to continue changing the future of medicine.
For those of us who are connected to Southwestern Medical Foundation, are extremely proud to be part of it.Mary Stewart Ramsey