LOGAN SQUARE — A Logan Square pastor critically injured in Guatemala last week has died, according to family and friends.
Rev. Ramon Nieves of the Humboldt Park United Methodist Church in Logan Square was on a volunteer mission trip with his wife, Yolanda, when on Friday he collapsed into a pool and was found unconscious — apparently underwater for several minutes before anyone found him.
Money was raised to get him flown back to Chicago Tuesday on a special medical flight, but Nieves succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. He was 54.
Tributes were filling up his Facebook page Friday morning as news of his passing spread. A pastor for 30 years, Nieves had been at Humboldt Park United Methodist Church for four.
"It is with profound sadness in our hearts that we share with you the news that our beloved pastor, the Rev. Dr. Ramon L. Nieves, Jr. has passed away following an accident while on a mission trip to Guatemala," friend and church member Delia Ramirez wrote in an email. "Rev. Nieves’ last days were a reflection of his life: serving God."
Continuing, she wrote:
"He was born in Humboldt Park and he completed his ministry here in Humboldt Park after 30 years of faithful service. In Guatemala, Rev. Nieves and his wife Yolanda Nieves trained over 180 teachers who will be forever changed because of Rev. Nieves’ wisdom and experience. They will go on to touch the lives of many others because of Rev. Nieves’ work.
"We ask you to keep Yolanda, Yvonne, Laura, and Vince and the entire family in prayer, as well as the Humboldt Park United Methodist Church. Thank you for your prayers. We appreciate your respect for the privacy of the Nieves family in this difficult time of grief.
"Thank you to all who contributed funds to bring Rev. Nieves back to be with his family in Chicago. We are eternally grateful."
Funeral arrangements would be announced when available, Ramirez said.