El Mirage Vice Mayor Joe Ramirez died in his home on June 2. He was 66.

“Vice Mayor Ramirez has been a proud El Mirage resident for more than 50 years,” Mayor Lana Mook said in a written statement. “He was a true friend to Luke Air Base and the entire West Valley and played a key role in the many improvements El Mirage has enjoyed over the past seven years.”

Ramirez’s colleagues remembered him as a man who cared about El Mirage as much as his family. 

Ramirez was first elected to the El Mirage City Council in 2000. Mook said she encouraged him to run again with her in 2010, to which he agreed. 

Ramirez is survived by two children and two grandchildren he and his wife adopted from their son, the mayor said. 

Ramirez owned a concrete company, J&A Mirage Concrete, and Councilman Roy Delgado said he was active in Habitat for Humanity.

Delgado said he and Ramirez had been friends since they first ran for council in 1999. The two eventually became neighbors, which led to Ramirez joking about how he could hear Delgado’s mule from his house.

“I would always tell him, ‘Joe, it’s not my mule — it’s my donkey.’ “

Councilman Bob Jones said he admired Ramirez and his work for the city during the brief time he knew him. 

“That man walked on water — he was that good,” Jones said. “He knew everything about this city. He knew its weak points. He knew the strong points. He knew what needed to be fixed, and I think that his concerns for the city — he took to heart.”

Councilman Jack Palladino said Ramirez took him “under his wing” when Palladino was first elected in 2010 and they became fast friends.

“His main concern was his family and what he could do for the city,” Palladino said. 

Ramirez’s wife, Anne, had died in September, Delgado said. “I never knew what was on his mind, you know, other than he grieved her a lot,” Delgado said. 

Anyone who wishes to send their condolences to the Ramirez family can do so through the city at 10000 N. El Mirage Road, El Mirage, AZ 85335.

The council will follow state law in filling the council vacancy, Mook said. The city will advertise the position for four weeks. Those interested can submit an application to the city clerk, and would be interviewed by the council during an open meeting, where the council would debate whom to appoint. Mook said she expects the position will be filled sometime in August.

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