ForeverMissed
Yes, Ron truly was one of a kind - a unique character and a very dear friend. He will be deeply missed by so many. He leaves behind so many wonderful memories he helped create and so many ways in which he touched people's lives. So as a tribute, and a way to honour him in his own unique and unorthodox style, this site is a place to leave humourous anecdotes, politically-incorrect stories, wacky memories and irreverant comments about Ron and his life - the kind that you might not want to leave on a typical memorial site. It kinda seems slightly inappropriate - and knowing Ron, I think he'd like that.
                                                                                   Tim Stewart & Gary Hastie
                                                                                   Friends & Site Adminstrators
Posted by Larry Stewart on May 18, 2021
In a previous post, Tim mentioned that things always seemed to happen to Ron. Here is another example...
While still in his teens driving in his little orange Datsun, Ron passed a hitch hiker and decided to pick him up. A short distance later driving along the 406 near St Catharines, cop cars pulled them over. The cops jumped out of their car with guns drawn ordering both men out their vehicle. Ron said “Did you do something I should know about,...I know I didn’t!” The hitch hiker said “No not me.” They slowly got out of the car hands in the air and complied with the cops orders. With both men temporarily cuffed, the cops checked them out; Ron and his new friend proclaiming their innocence all the while. Before long the cuffs came off and they were given an apology from the cops with an explanation that both Ron’s car and their general description matched that of bank robbers that were in flight. Ron said he was never so scared.
It could only happen to him.
Larry
Posted by Tim Stewart on May 18, 2021
Ron always seemed to have a propensity for things happening to him. Not terrible things, mind you – but if something funny or awkward or embarrassing was going to happen to one of us, chances are it was going to be Ron. Case in point: one cool Fall night when we were in our 20s, Ron, Gary and I decided to warm up with a fire in my backyard, where we had a firepit. It had been a cool and rainy week, and the yard was full of puddles. Nevertheless, we found some solid ground near the firepit and sat around with our lawn chairs, drinking a few beers and trading stories. Suddenly we heard a loud POP, and a large burning ember jumped out of the fire and landed squarely in Ron’s crotch! Stunned and frightened, he leaned back in his lawn chair and immediately went head over heels, landing directly in a large puddle behind him. Singed and soaking, he stood up, shook himself off and calmly pronounced, “Well, gotta go.”

On another occasion, our baseball team was playing in Niagara Falls. There was a bat that many of our players liked, but it was slightly oversized and deemed illegal because it didn’t fit through the ring the umpire used to check the bats. Someone got the idea to sand the barrel of the bat down so it would fit through the ring, and since Ron wasn’t starting that day, he was elected as the “Sandman”. While we were warming up on the field to start the next inning, Gary came over and nudged me with his elbow, pointing at the bench. There was Ron, sitting on the bench with the sand paper, handle of the bat firmly in his knees with the barrel between his legs pointing upward, holding on with one hand while furiously stroking up and down with the other. (Take a moment to picture that.) As we began to fall apart with laughter, others caught on to what was happening too. Pretty soon both teams were looking over at Ron, who belatedly began to grasp the situation. With rolling eyes and an embarrassed smirk, he slowly and calmly put the bat down, folded his hands and nodded to his admiring audience.

I could recount numerous other instances in which Ron was the unfortunate butt of the joke. But he always handled the situation with dignity, a laugh, and a touch of self-deprecation, which made the situation all the more humourous. You were one of a kind, my friend, and we miss you dreadfully.
Posted by Scott Stewart on May 11, 2021
Ron (Mad Dog) was pretty much a fixture at the Stewart house in Niagara–on–the-Lake during the 70’s. He, Gary, and Tim had hit it off in high school, so I as Tim’s older brother often got to watch their antics, and later, on more than one occasion, shared a beer or two around a bonfire in the back yard of our house in summer. They were kind of like a saner, care free version of the Three Stooges – I’ll let you figure out who was Curly, Larry, and Moe (hint: see above) Anthony joined them a short time later on – much like Schemp did on the Stooges TV show. They never managed to burn down the old oak tree hanging over the fire pit but the low hanging branches sure got cooked! – along with a few running shoes. (OK – It might have been more than a couple of beers).

I went with them on one of their pro baseball junkets through Ohio and Michigan. I recall that Ron got to do a brief stint calling a play from right behind home plate on local radio during one of the last games in the original Tiger Stadium. We took a cab to that game from our hotel – naturally the safe way to travel if beer is involved. Doing 70 mph along the turnpike our driver is drinking a huge cup of Pepsi (I think it was just Pepsi but hey you never know) through a homemade 3 foot long straw as he drives. Ron cracks a joke. The driver chokes on his bit swig of pop and sprays it all over the inside of the windshield – instant black-out – he instinctively throws on the wipers! That sure helps! Now he starts to wipe down the inside of the glass as he is swerving all over the road. I am cringing as I brace for impact… but Ron is laughing - hysterically – not sure whether from the dumb move of the driver or from the probability that we are all about to die! He may have been laughing but his bulging eyes belied terror, so I guess it was both.

I feel a bit bad looking back now for the silly tricks sometimes played on him back at Niagara. He always took everything in stride. Details of most I cannot remember now that I am an old fart, but one that still comes to mind happened very late one night, after another of their bonfire brewski binges. Ron had crashed on a living room easy chair with headphones still planted on his head – 8 track cassette still playing. I had come home really late from working overtime at the Niagara District airport, and saw Ron passed out, so just like I would have done to my brother Tim, I slipped over to the stereo and quietly put on a record - Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon – first song - side A: Time. I crank the volume up to 11, and sit down to watch this peaceful inebriated sole – head back - mouth agape - snoring ever so … loudly. Had anyone come into that dead silent room they would not have thought anything of it until about 2 minutes into the cut when, in that dead silence, and without him flinching a single muscle, they would have seen Ron’s eyes pop out of his head – I swear that his sleeping facial expression never changed – head tilted back -mouth still agape. He just sat there in shock – his eyes still bulging - for about 10 seconds before he moved to rip off the phones (100 alarm clocks still ringing at crescendo) and cried W-T-F! A huge grin emerged when he saw me there rolling on the floor. A terrible way to sober up! He probably got tinnitus from that antic. So sorry Ron.

We all know that Ron struggled with his health and chronic pain all of his life, but I never once saw him without a big smile on his face and a happy-go-lucky demeanor. He set an example for us all. Thanks to God he found and married the love of his life Nancy – You were his joy and his haven through tough times - as he was for you. Both of you are saints.

My sincerest condolences to Nancy and daughter Emily.

The world is a much lesser place without you Ron. Please put in a good word for us with the Big Ump because we are sure going to need it now that we have lost you from our ball team.
Posted by Brad Giffen on May 5, 2021
Thank you Tim and Gary for this site, and to Ron's and my mutual good friend Rick Ringer for directing me here to express a few words. 
Ron and I met in 1977 when he and I were in our first years of radio in Peterborough. Two just-turned 20-year old CKPT announcers, the world our oyster, and a blue-skies-forever future, working our shifts and performing the kind of station-endorsed hi-jinx that radio stations at that time encouraged. We became great friends, and before long, along with one of the station's other announcers, we became roommates. After a few years, I left Peterborough for new horizons and Ron stayed and prospered and became a beloved and devoted husband, father and a mighty and popular voice throughout the Peterborough and Central Ontario region. Years passed, but our friendship held steady through our respective marriages, births and now.. 
             
Now 44-years later, I just can't seem to wrap my head around Ron's passing. His zest for life and for the people he held dear in it seemed to me..immortal. There are only a few people who make an indelible mark during our life, and Ron was indeed one of them. Principled. Disciplined. Smart. Loyal. Funny. I can 'hear' Ron imitating a hapless tv ad salesman, "Raise your head, raise your feet..raise your head -and- feet ..or simply lie flat." (adjust-o-matic bed ad in the '70s that for some reason years later we still found funny); "Saturday, Saturday, ooh I love my Saturdays" (Bell Telephone radio jingle we'd sing around the house when we were roommates); or amusingly using the word, 'propitious' in his phone's answering message that I heard when I called Ron and left him a message during what would turn out to be his final hours.
Right now as I write this, I hear his laugh, I hear his voice, I see his smile, I remember wonderful, welcoming, day-long visits by the lake with Nancy and Rick and Ron's big hug when we'd arrive and another big hug goodbye 'til next time.  

I think of Ron's resolute bravery , his incontrovertible love for Nancy and Emily, and his train-stoppable stubbornness (determination) that, along with dear Nancy, helped support him through years of pain. I think of his never-ending deep and genuine kindness, his caring ways toward all things and people big and small, and the crusty exterior he often used to disguise it. I'm missing my old friend already more than I can put into words, and I know I will miss him every day for what remains of my life. My deepest sympathy to Nancy and Emily, who I hope, will find some measure of comfort knowing that Ron in every way, will remain alive in all of our collective hearts and memories, forever.
Posted by Tim Stewart on April 27, 2021
Ron and I became best buddies in High School, a relationship that would not wane in the more than 50 years I was lucky enough to share a friendship with him. Among the many crazy memories of those developing years, perhaps none stands out more than the notorious movie we made in Mrs. Stockreef’s Grade 12 English class – the infamous flick “The Adventures of Mad Dog”. For some reason, it seemed to strike a chord with a great number of people, both within our circle of friends and beyond. Looking back, it is really just classic tom-foolery from a bunch of silly adolescents – but oddly, it still seems to stand the test of time (at least in my mind). The short film chronicles the exploits of Mad Dog (played by Ron) as he tries to foil a supposed bank robber (played by Mark Derbyshire) in a chase through the streets of Niagara and St. Catharines. Cameo appearances are made by the group members producing the film (me, Dave Alexander, Eric Von Wallace, Alan Goodenough and Fred Andres), as well as Gary Hastie, John Poots, Bob Dick, Dieter Unruh and Lynn Stewart. If you are interested, you can view a re-cut version with new sound track using the link below (you may have to copy and paste it into your browser) . Please excuse the poor production quality. After all, it was shot in 1974 on Super 8 film by a bunch of Gr. 12 kids and edited by hand using a film splicer and glue!

https://youtu.be/O_k1PnGaSyk
Posted by Anthony Fabbricino on April 27, 2021
I met Ron while I was at university - gosh that's almost 40+ years ago. I met him as "Mad-Dog", which exemplified how well he partied.  After university, we expanded our friendship to our families - our daughters were the same age, our partners were both passionate school teachers. And Mad-dog became Ron. We enjoyed Canada Days, Muskoka retreats, a few SnowCros. And baseball - we had some wonderful baseball memories with Gary and Tim. Montreal, Toronto, and Cactus League! And online - with wonderful banter as Ron "Commissioner" McFarland would opine on the game he loved. Through all this, I ALWAYS admired Ron's zeal for life and love of friends. He made each of every moment of ours special and the glass was ALWAYS half-filled. It will be impossible to replace that laugh, that compassion, those hugs. I will miss you Ron.

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Posted by Larry Stewart on May 18, 2021
In a previous post, Tim mentioned that things always seemed to happen to Ron. Here is another example...
While still in his teens driving in his little orange Datsun, Ron passed a hitch hiker and decided to pick him up. A short distance later driving along the 406 near St Catharines, cop cars pulled them over. The cops jumped out of their car with guns drawn ordering both men out their vehicle. Ron said “Did you do something I should know about,...I know I didn’t!” The hitch hiker said “No not me.” They slowly got out of the car hands in the air and complied with the cops orders. With both men temporarily cuffed, the cops checked them out; Ron and his new friend proclaiming their innocence all the while. Before long the cuffs came off and they were given an apology from the cops with an explanation that both Ron’s car and their general description matched that of bank robbers that were in flight. Ron said he was never so scared.
It could only happen to him.
Larry
Posted by Tim Stewart on May 18, 2021
Ron always seemed to have a propensity for things happening to him. Not terrible things, mind you – but if something funny or awkward or embarrassing was going to happen to one of us, chances are it was going to be Ron. Case in point: one cool Fall night when we were in our 20s, Ron, Gary and I decided to warm up with a fire in my backyard, where we had a firepit. It had been a cool and rainy week, and the yard was full of puddles. Nevertheless, we found some solid ground near the firepit and sat around with our lawn chairs, drinking a few beers and trading stories. Suddenly we heard a loud POP, and a large burning ember jumped out of the fire and landed squarely in Ron’s crotch! Stunned and frightened, he leaned back in his lawn chair and immediately went head over heels, landing directly in a large puddle behind him. Singed and soaking, he stood up, shook himself off and calmly pronounced, “Well, gotta go.”

On another occasion, our baseball team was playing in Niagara Falls. There was a bat that many of our players liked, but it was slightly oversized and deemed illegal because it didn’t fit through the ring the umpire used to check the bats. Someone got the idea to sand the barrel of the bat down so it would fit through the ring, and since Ron wasn’t starting that day, he was elected as the “Sandman”. While we were warming up on the field to start the next inning, Gary came over and nudged me with his elbow, pointing at the bench. There was Ron, sitting on the bench with the sand paper, handle of the bat firmly in his knees with the barrel between his legs pointing upward, holding on with one hand while furiously stroking up and down with the other. (Take a moment to picture that.) As we began to fall apart with laughter, others caught on to what was happening too. Pretty soon both teams were looking over at Ron, who belatedly began to grasp the situation. With rolling eyes and an embarrassed smirk, he slowly and calmly put the bat down, folded his hands and nodded to his admiring audience.

I could recount numerous other instances in which Ron was the unfortunate butt of the joke. But he always handled the situation with dignity, a laugh, and a touch of self-deprecation, which made the situation all the more humourous. You were one of a kind, my friend, and we miss you dreadfully.
Posted by Scott Stewart on May 11, 2021
Ron (Mad Dog) was pretty much a fixture at the Stewart house in Niagara–on–the-Lake during the 70’s. He, Gary, and Tim had hit it off in high school, so I as Tim’s older brother often got to watch their antics, and later, on more than one occasion, shared a beer or two around a bonfire in the back yard of our house in summer. They were kind of like a saner, care free version of the Three Stooges – I’ll let you figure out who was Curly, Larry, and Moe (hint: see above) Anthony joined them a short time later on – much like Schemp did on the Stooges TV show. They never managed to burn down the old oak tree hanging over the fire pit but the low hanging branches sure got cooked! – along with a few running shoes. (OK – It might have been more than a couple of beers).

I went with them on one of their pro baseball junkets through Ohio and Michigan. I recall that Ron got to do a brief stint calling a play from right behind home plate on local radio during one of the last games in the original Tiger Stadium. We took a cab to that game from our hotel – naturally the safe way to travel if beer is involved. Doing 70 mph along the turnpike our driver is drinking a huge cup of Pepsi (I think it was just Pepsi but hey you never know) through a homemade 3 foot long straw as he drives. Ron cracks a joke. The driver chokes on his bit swig of pop and sprays it all over the inside of the windshield – instant black-out – he instinctively throws on the wipers! That sure helps! Now he starts to wipe down the inside of the glass as he is swerving all over the road. I am cringing as I brace for impact… but Ron is laughing - hysterically – not sure whether from the dumb move of the driver or from the probability that we are all about to die! He may have been laughing but his bulging eyes belied terror, so I guess it was both.

I feel a bit bad looking back now for the silly tricks sometimes played on him back at Niagara. He always took everything in stride. Details of most I cannot remember now that I am an old fart, but one that still comes to mind happened very late one night, after another of their bonfire brewski binges. Ron had crashed on a living room easy chair with headphones still planted on his head – 8 track cassette still playing. I had come home really late from working overtime at the Niagara District airport, and saw Ron passed out, so just like I would have done to my brother Tim, I slipped over to the stereo and quietly put on a record - Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon – first song - side A: Time. I crank the volume up to 11, and sit down to watch this peaceful inebriated sole – head back - mouth agape - snoring ever so … loudly. Had anyone come into that dead silent room they would not have thought anything of it until about 2 minutes into the cut when, in that dead silence, and without him flinching a single muscle, they would have seen Ron’s eyes pop out of his head – I swear that his sleeping facial expression never changed – head tilted back -mouth still agape. He just sat there in shock – his eyes still bulging - for about 10 seconds before he moved to rip off the phones (100 alarm clocks still ringing at crescendo) and cried W-T-F! A huge grin emerged when he saw me there rolling on the floor. A terrible way to sober up! He probably got tinnitus from that antic. So sorry Ron.

We all know that Ron struggled with his health and chronic pain all of his life, but I never once saw him without a big smile on his face and a happy-go-lucky demeanor. He set an example for us all. Thanks to God he found and married the love of his life Nancy – You were his joy and his haven through tough times - as he was for you. Both of you are saints.

My sincerest condolences to Nancy and daughter Emily.

The world is a much lesser place without you Ron. Please put in a good word for us with the Big Ump because we are sure going to need it now that we have lost you from our ball team.
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Shared by Larry Stewart on May 4, 2021
I knew Ron as one of Tim’s best friends. Gary, Ron and Tim just always seemed to be together. Our house in Niagara-on-the-Lake (like most) never had a locked door. With 8 kids in our family both front and back doors were like revolving doors so friends just pranced inlike the rest of us. I remember Ron arriving late one summer day on his motorcycle, upon returning to town from one of his short loner camping trips. I greeted him in the driveway, but he just jumped off his bike, ran past me and into the house saying “Get outta the way, I haven’t shit in 4 days!” It was classic Ron. I laughed so hard. 
I have hundreds of memories of him. All good. All heart warming. All make me smile. He was so unique, always happy, always smiling - in spite of the pain we knew he had. He made me and all around him smile. He will be missed.