Ronald "Ron" Eugene VanHoose
March 05, 1948 - October 21, 2015
He Was Loved Greatly and Loved Greatly
Ronald Eugene VanHoose passed away peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep at home on Wednesday October 21st. Ron was born on March 5, 1948 to Charles and Louella VanHoose in Hitchens, KY. He was the oldest of 7 children. He was raised in Kentucky, Palisades, WA and Pinehurst, ID. Ron graduated from Kellogg High School in 1966 and worked in the mines of the Silver Valley until he enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam in the 84th Engineer Battalion. He spoke little of his time there for many years, but reconnected with many of his fellow soldiers in recent years. He loved these men, and they loved him.
In 1972 Ron met, fell in love with and married his soulmate, Grace Ann. They started a life together in in Butte, MT and had their first child at the end of that year, Shawna. In his usual selfless way, he agreed to move "home" for Grace to Seattle, and that is where they built their life. The family grew and they had Ronna and Adam in the years that followed. They bought a house down a long bumpy gravel road in Bothell, and raised their kids together, made lifelong friends, lived the dream. Ron worked for years at several shipyards in the Seattle area as a purchasing manager. He learned the trade at Marine Power, later worked for Lake Union Dry Dock company and after a few years away from the city life, returned to the industry at Pacific Fishermen in Ballard. Everyone in the shipyards community knew and respected him for the hard worker, honest and fair businessman that he was. Ron retired a few years ago, and since then filled his life with family, motorcycle trips around the country, a trip to China last summer, family vacations and a whole lot of computer solitaire and ebay shopping fun.
Ron loved the outdoors. As a younger man he was an avid hunter. He enjoyed camping and just seeing the landscapes of this beautiful country. He loved the mountains, he was drawn to them. In 1993 he and Grace packed up from the rat race and moved back to Montana. They bought a hardware store in St. Ignatius and built a new dream there. There he was a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, and enjoyed being a part of this community. In 1997 it was time to move back to Seattle again, after they became grandparents for the first time the prior year. That is when Ron became Papa, and that was the most important title he ever held in this world. Everyone referred to him as Papa, and he was a magnificent grandfather to his actual grand-kids and to many extended "adopted" ones the children of cousins, nieces, nephews and friend's.
Ron lost the love of his life in 2006, and life moved on to another chapter for him. He was never quite the same after losing Grace, and he was the first to admit that the pain didn't go away, ever. He spent more time on his motorcycle, taking annual cross-country trips to various states. His goal was to ride a motorcycle in every state, but he came up a couple short when he left us too soon. He enjoyed the freedom of the open road, he went to Sturgis a few times, he rode coast to coast and most places in between. He had collected bikes over the years, and this year, added a bike he'd coveted for years - the special edition Shrine Harley.
Ron was an active member for decades and Past Master of Ashler Lodge #121 in Bothell, he was a Past District Deputy for Grand Lodge of Washington, he was an active and loved member of the Nile Temple Shrine. He was involved in various units there over the years, including time as Donald Duck in parades, and the Masonic family included many of his most adored friends.
Above all else, and at any cost, Ron was a dedicated to his family. He loved them unequivocally, and came to their rescue for any need - big or small - he helped without expectation of anything back. He was loyal and genuine and did not request or concern himself with credit for all he did for his family. He took care of others without a second thought. Ron spent the last 8 years of his life living with Ronna's family in Mill Creek. He was most certainly kept going by his grandchildren and helping to raise them. He loved them more than any other people on this planet. He lived to spend time with them and we were blessed to share so much time together. Papa was the stable person in all of our lives, there to help, there to listen, there to share a joke (or several) to lighten the mood when it was needed most. He was gentle when needed, fierce when needed and mostly joking in between. He had a thousand jokes.
Ron is preceded in death by both of his parents, sister Joan Elizabeth, brother Gary and wife, Grace Ann. He is survived by his children Shawna (Andy) McGahan of Everett, Ronna (Jim) Beal of Mill Creek and Adam (Lisa) VanHoose of Bothell. He is survived by his brothers Paul and Rick, and sisters Kathy and Sheri, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and other family members. His legacy, as he would see it, are the grandchildren he was blessed with in this world: Mackenzie, Cameron & Kendra McGahan, Alice, Shaina, Grayson & Maxwell Beal, Lucas and Gracie VanHoose. These children were the center of his life, the ones he rushed back from road trips to see, the ones he cuddled up with when they needed Papa. He was the center of their universe, and they were his. These children, perhaps more than any of the rest of us, will feel the void of losing this incredible man. Papa was one of a kind, one in a million and is most certainly irreplaceable.
He taught us that if you work hard, you cannot fail. He was loved greatly and he loved greatly. His passing has deeply affected so many, and our family is grateful for the love and support from countless folks that loved him.
Ron's life will be celebrated on Friday October 30th at Nile Temple (6601 244th St. SW Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043) at 1pm in the afternoon.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the Shriner's Hospitals for burned and crippled children. He was a Shriner because he believed in the good work these hospitals did, he was dedicated to the idea that you help those you can, you share what you have.
all is well
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.
To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.