Ramberg a musician and showman
Musician Dick Ramberg is remembered as a showman who wowed a lot of people with his musical skill and heartfelt performances.
Ramberg, 72, died March 7 of cancer. After losing his sight to retina cancer as a young child, Ramberg learned Braille and took up piano. His mother would play chords and he would repeat them.
Ramberg later began playing clarinet. He played in numerous Twin Cities bands, joining the Barbary Coast Banjo Band in the 1960s. The band is now known as the Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band. The band has performed around the world. Ramberg continued to perform until last fall until he became too ill to continue.
Ramberg graduated from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School with honors and then graduated from the University of Minnesota. He held two master’s degrees, one in political science and the other in vocational counseling. He was executive director of the Minnesota State Council for the Handicapped and worked as a stockbroker. He was known for recognizing people by the sound of a voice, even after a few years.
After retirement in 2001 Ramberg pursued his musical career full-time. He would do what he could to not reveal to audience members that he was blind. One longstanding joke the band played is to ask the audience, “How many have seen the Barbary Coast before?” When the audience is asked, “How many have never seen the Barbary Coast?” Ramberg would raise his hand.
Ramberg was also known for leading the band in playing “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” a song the band has retired.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; a son, a daughter, a granddaughter and his brother. Services have been held.
Bruce Lattu was known for his advocacy for Minnesotans with disabilities and for bringing cheer to those around. Lattu, who worked for the State of Minnesota for more than 20 years, died March 4 at United Hospital. The Centerville resident was 60 years old.
In fall 2012 the Minnesota State Council on Disability (MnSCOD) gave Lattu its Minnesota Award. Lattu, who most recently worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) as a disability program coordinator, was known for empowering people with disabilities and helping them become self-advocates. He also worked to ensure that MnDOT and other state agencies are aware of not only the minimum expectations of what the law requires but also why it is better to go beyond the minimum levels. He was known as a creative problem-solver.
Lattu worked to empower others to ask for the reasonable accommodations and worked to find creative ways to meet the needs of people with disabilities so that they can get and maintain employment. He helped raise awareness of disability for the greater community, most recently on the Central Corridor light rail project planning.
He previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and taught high school in Clinton, where he also served as the basketball, football and baseball coach. He was an avid Minnesota Twins fan.
Lattu is survived by his wife Kathy, two sons and daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, two brothers including his twin brother, a sister and many nieces and nephews. Services have been held. Online condolences can be sent to millerfuneralfridley.com