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Hundreds gather to celebrate life of Belton High senior Joe Ramirez

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Hundreds gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate the life of Joe Ramirez.

He was the Belton High School Senior who was stabbed to death inside a school bathroom at the beginning of May. His funeral took place inside Crossroads Church in Belton.

“I never thought (that) Monday night when you called me and asked me if I wanted Whataburger at 9 p.m. would be our last phone call,” said Alejandria Ramirez, Joe Ramirez’s sister said during the service.

For the grieving family he left behind, it is still a hard reality to grasp.

“So, today, hug each other, say prayers for one another,” said Pastor Matt Thrasher. “Eat some of Joe’s favorite food. I told you, Taco Bell’s just a block away here.”

It was this somber occasion many used to remember the teen and his love of pranks and athletics. Many were even representing his favored Dallas Cowboys.

“I will say that he is the only person in this world that can get me in this ugly jersey,” said Tia McKee, a family friend, during a reception following the funeral.

Since his death, the community has also rallied behind the family.

A GoFundMe set up in his name surpassed its funding goal, community members were selling t-shirts in his honor and local businesses were even giving away their profits to help the family.

Even with all that, what helped his mother Amanda Rios the most was hearing the stories everyone had of her baby boy.

“It’s what’s getting me through,” Rios said. “He was like no other.”

And many were more than comfortable sharing their memories of Joe Ramirez.

“You cared and you listened to me, even when I was sitting at the foot of your bed way too long while you were sleepy,” said Alejandria Ramirez. “But I just wanted to keep talking to you and tell you stories.”

But it was not just Thursday many will use to remember Joe Ramirez. Many will continue to do so for a long time.

“To the students, it might come at the sideline of a game,” said Thrasher. “On a trail to a park, to a waterfall, at the counter at Walmart. And as Joe did, we can all add more love in life to a life worth living.”

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