Stephen (Steve) Ernest Ramer, former pastor of West Phoenix Baptist Church, died Nov. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 59.

Ramer graduated from Grand Canyon University in 1996 after answering God’s call to full-time ministry. Prior to that, he taught Sunday School, worked with youth and headed a church recreation program along the way.

Being the son of Gary Ramer, longtime Southern Baptist preacher, he was involved in church all his life and felt the call to preach at age 12.

His love of sports led him to coach basketball at Phoenix Christian High School, where he also taught Old Testament.

He was pastor at North Peoria Baptist Church for three years and West Phoenix Baptist for 17 years.

Ramer is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sheena Ramer; four children; six grandchildren; his parents, Gary and Martha Ramer; and three sisters. He was preceded in death by a sister and a grandson. He is interred at Phoenix Memorial Park.