Jose Ramirez-Velazquez, 35 / June 11, 1975 — Jan. 1, 2011

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jose Mercedes Ramirez-Velazquez, 35, of Cass Street, Niles, died at 1:14 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011 at Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles following a firearm accident while celebrating the New Year.

He was born June 11, 1975 in El Tule, Guerrero, Mexico to Arthuro Ramirez and Irma (Velazquez) Ramirez. Jose moved from Pennsylvania to Niles in 2006.

He was employed at Amerigreen and previously employed at Michiana Landscaping.

Jose was a member of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Berrien Springs. He was a fan of soccer, playing in leagues in Pennsylvania and serving as a volunteer coach on his daughters’ teams. He also enjoyed following professional soccer on television.

He will be well-remembered for caring for people, and was always the first to offer assistance to folks in the neighborhood.

Jose was married July 1, 1995 in Pennsylvania to Irene Avila, who survives.

He is also survived by his daughters, Irma Ramirez, at home, Hodalys Ramirez, at home, Alondra Ramirez, at home and Maria deJesus Ramirez, at home; parents, Arthuro and Irma Ramirez of El Tule, Guerrero; sisters, Christina (Gonzalo) Ramirez of Pennsylvania, Emeralda (Luis) Fernandez of Niles, Anabel (Manuel) Cortez of Pennsylvania, Beatrice (Julio) Bravo of El Tula, Guerrero and Celena Ramirez of El Tula, Guerrero; brothers, Leobardo (Leonor) Ramirez of Niles, Mario (Elsa) Ramirez of Pennsylvania; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, 2011 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Niles with the Rev. David Otto of the church officiating.

Burial will be at El Tule Cemetery in Guerrero, Mexico.

Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles and beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at the church.