Ronald James Beal
March 28, 1948 – August 27, 2017
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ron at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital on Sunday, after a short but courageous battle with cancer.
Ron was born in Burlington, Ontario to Ralph Vernon and Edythe Elizabeth (Martin) Beal, and was a beloved son to them. His sister Sharon Elizabeth was born 8 years later, and they spent a wonderful childhood surrounded by family and friends in Burlington and “up north” in Muskoka. Following High School, Ron attended Waterloo University where he met the love of his life, Penny. They connected instantly with their mutual love of family and the outdoors, and became best friends as well as marriage partners. They chose teaching as a career and a passion, and were lured north to Sioux Lookout for the great adventure of their lives. It was there they were able to create a new “family” of friends to love and enjoy, and have their three beautiful children – Katelin Lee, 1980, Patrick Christopher, 1982 and Bryan Ronald, 1983. When they moved to Keewatin in 1998, who would have thought it could get even better? Ron ended his career of teaching with great pride at Keewatin Public School, having taught his last class in 2003 with the same dedication and enthusiasm as when he taught his first class back in 1974. Ron has continually received notes and visits from former students, reminding him of the difference he made in their young lives. His protégé Lily held a very special place in his heart.
Ron was dedicated to his community and his church. In Sioux Lookout he was a driving force in building an addition to St. Andrew’s United Church, and served as Board Member for the local Association for Community Living. He ran the first “computer lab” in Sioux Lookout for community members, as the Commodore 64’s had just been received. He was the Principal Designate for Central School as well as acting Principal for Hudson Public School. In Keewatin, he enthusiastically joined the Snowmobile Club and served on the Board of Directors, as well as on the Board of St. Andrew’s United Church. His most recent achievement was to rebuild a beautiful community garden adjacent to the church. As well, upon retirement he served in many capacities including president of the local chapter of the Retired Teachers of Ontario .
Ron had a large circle of friends and neighbours with whom he shared hunting and fishing trips, travel adventures, dinner parties and building events. There are not enough words to tell you of how he treasured those friendships. You know who you are. He considered himself the world’s luckiest man to have the family he had, and the profession he chose. We consider ourselves the luckiest family in the world to have had him in our lives.
It was with great sadness he left behind his grandsons Rhett and his soon to arrive little brother, and Rhett’s parents Katelin and Rorke Christiuk, his son Patrick, and his son Bryan and his chosen partner Celine Ward. Hugs and loving words were exchanged with his sister Sharon (Dean Mortimer) and niece Lindsay (Steven Longley) who were with him on his last days. Many more nephews, nieces, cousins and brothers- and sisters -in -law will miss him too.
A celebration service will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church on August 31st, at 11:00, followed by a lunch and time to greet family. The Beal Family has a very long list of thankyous to share, but for now we’ll make special mention of the medical people who were so helpful- Dr. Laferriere, Dr. Moore, Dr. Wiebe, Dr. Kroeker, Dr. Beveridge, and Nurses in the Oncology Lab, as well as Jess, Dudley, Nelson, Kelsi, Amy and Peggy. Thank you for the comfort and care provided for Ron and our family during his last days. You allowed us to feel Ron was being cared for in the best way possible.
Ron’s dearest wish was to have a Memory Garden created beside the Community Garden in Keewatin. “Build it and they will come!” – a place for everyone to come and sit, reflect and remember loved ones. You may wish to make a donation towards the garden in lieu of flowers. If you wish you may instead choose to make a donation to the Lake of the Woods Hospital CT Scanner Fund.
“Look for me in the rainbows…” (Vicki Brown)
Alcock Funeral Home & Cremation Services (Highway 17 West Keewatin) in care of arrangements, 547-6000.