On Sunday morning December 1, 2013 Ramona passed away peacefully at home after a very courageous battle with cancer with her husband Craig and daughter Kathy by her side.
Born in Red Bluff, CA and raised in Sacramento she graduated from Grant Union High School. Ramona became a business woman at a very young age, purchasing a small swimming school in Sacramento in 1961 and growing the business to be one of the largest swimming and diving schools and shops in Northern California. She decided to semi-retire and sold the business, moving to Modesto in 1973. Not one to do nothing, Ramona opened Salty’s Tropical Fish and Bird Store on 9th Street in Modesto in 1976. She was always interested in music and movies, her father having worked for Columbia Studios for 37-years, so the store slowly morphed into what became Salty’s Record Attic. Once again, she took the business from its early beginnings to being one of the largest collectable record and memorabilia stores in California.
Ramona worked with many people in music over the years including Wayne Newton which garnered her backstage and front row passes at many of his concerts and even a little walk aboard his plane. She was thrilled.
Ramona’s daughter, Kathy Schroeder-Hansen loves to share the story of Ramona meeting Jerry Lee Lewis during his Graffiti Days performance years ago in Modesto. Kathy was working backstage doing interviews and although Ramona/Salty’s Record Attic was a sponsor Ramona did not have a backstage pass. Kathy “ducked her under the tape.” Jerry Lee Lewis was due to come out of his trailer any minute and there stood Ramona proudly clutching on to Jerry Lee’s very first picture sleeve. What better item to get a signature on? My mom was not shy but when Jerry Lee came out of his trailer she froze, says Kathy. “I literally had to push her toward him.” Kathy said to Jerry Lee, “look what my mom has to show you.” Jerry Lee looked at the picture sleeve with a huge grin on his face and said, “Girl, where the hell did you get that?” It was a priceless moment; one that Kathy says she will never forget.
Kathy shares that there are many people to thank for the support that Ramona received over the last few years of her life – all the numerous friends who were right there, co-workers, the amazing people with Hospice both at Hospice House and the in-home nurses and caregivers who made her so comfortable in her last days at home. Most importantly, Craig Saben her husband of 40-years, who should have been given the caregiver of the year award. He was absolutely incredible in his care and compassion for Ramona. Craig passed away in August of 2016.