By Chris Mayhew
Enquirer staff writer
EDGEWOOD - Hilda Marie Ramler served up a tall order when she opened her own restaurant during the 1950s, said her niece, Debbie Cummings of Burlington.
Mrs. Ramler, owner and operator of the former Caintuckee Grill at Ky. 25 and U.S. 42 in Florence for more than 30 years, died Thursday at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood.
"Back then, a woman in her 20s starting a restaurant - you didn't hear of that," her niece said.
Within a year of the restaurant's opening in 1953, it became the family business.
Mrs. Ramler's mother, Delores Ramler, cooked in the kitchen, and her sister Katie and brother Frank both worked at the restaurant.
Both of Mrs. Ramler's nieces worked at the restaurant while attending high school and college.
The grill featured home cooking, and before long it attracted doctors, lawyers, people involved with Turfway Park and hardware store employees, her niece said.
"Back in the '60s, '70s and '80s, anybody who was anybody came to that restaurant," her niece said.
The restaurant closed when Mrs. Ramler retired in 1984. The grill featured a plethora of horse photographs on the walls, and a hand-painted 20-by-10-foot cutout of Kentucky on one wall, that highlighted what various cities and regions were known for - including a fort for Harrodsburg a horse for Lexington, her niece said.
She enjoyed talking to people, was outspoken, and many local business people credited her with most of their referrals, her niece said.
"She was so honest, and she was appreciated by people for that honesty," her niece said.
Born in Erlanger, Mrs. Ramler lived with her sister Katie in a house they built together in Edgewood in 1956.
She was an independent and self-made woman, but generous, her niece said.
"She was a second mom to me and Donna," Debbie Cummings said.
Besides her niece, survivors include another niece, Donna Cummings of Fort Wright; a nephew, Jim Ramler of Independence; and five great-nieces and -nephews.
Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. and Mass of Christian burial will be at 6 p.m. Monday at St. Pius X Church in Edgewood. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery in Fort Mitchell.
Memorials may be made to Diocesan Catholic Children's Home, 75 Orphanage Road, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017.
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