Notable Route 66 enthusiast and educator Becky Ransom dies at 61

Becky Ransom, a Route 66 fan who used that enthusiasm for years in the classroom and at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, died suddenly in Wyoming on Feb. 8. She was 61.

According to her obituary, a joint celebration of life will be held for Ramsom and her father, Wayne Ransom, on July 29 at Davis Funeral Home in Riverton, Wyoming. Wayne died on Dec. 31.

Ransom was born in Jackson, Wyoming, and raised on a ranch in the area, where as a child she befriended the cows.

She was a shy child, but her life took a turn when her parents insisted she take a speech class. She lost her fear of talking in front of people and performed in several high-school musicals. She attended Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and earned a degree in Christian education.

Here’s the part in the obituary that dives into her Route 66 background:

After graduating from college, she was hired to teach 6th grade at a Christian School in Amarillo, Texas. During that time, she realized that the old Route 66 ran right by the school. Becky was always interested in history & wrote a booklet, “Cruisin’ Route 66”, about this amazing road. She took her students on field trips of the old Route 66 that ran thru their part of Texas. She was elected president of the Old Route 66 Association of Texas.                                                                                  

After her teaching experience she was the HR Director for the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo.  During that time, she met many celebrities including John Lassiter director of Pixar films. She ultimately was a consultant for the movie “Cars” because of her knowledge of Route 66. Her name is even mentioned in the credits. Becky went to the premier of the movie  & met some of the voice over actors, like Larry the Cable Guy as “Mater”,  Mike Wallace as the “Sheriff”.  and others. She had a phenomenal collection of “Cars” memorabilia. She also attended the opening of the “Cars” Land theme Park in Disneyland.

We met Ransom several times during her tenure at the Big Texan, telling us stories about her time at the landmark restaurant. She once opined that without the 72-ounce steak dinner stunt started in the 1960s that consistently draws crowds and publicity, the Big Texan probably wouldn’t have survived.

She later moved to Colorado to be closer to family and landed a dream position with the American Girl doll company.

(Image from Facebook of Becky Ransom with author Michael Wallis and Pixar director John Lasseter during their 2001 “Cars” research tour)

2 thoughts on “Notable Route 66 enthusiast and educator Becky Ransom dies at 61

  1. First met Becky in 2002 in Springfield, Illinois at the beginning of the first International Route 66 Festival end of September on a Friday evening. The Route 66 Heritage Program, now known as the Route 66 Scenic Byway program, hosted a meet and greet in a hotel for different 66 notibles. That following Monday on her way back to Amarillo Becky and people she was traveling with stopped by where she met some of our bunnies. We stayed in touch over the years but never personally saw her again. She was one fantastic lady and Route 66 ambassador. RIP Becky !!

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