RONALD GARFIELD HODGINS- ‘Rocket Ronnie’
July 25, 1931 DASH February 11, 2014
Ron died in Trail after a two month journey which began when he went to Ontario to visit his children, his family and his very good friend Lorne who was ill. He suffered an aneurysm a short time into his trip which resulted in his hospitalization in Ottawa, then to Kelowna General and finally home to KBRH in Trail. Despite the sadness of this time it gave Ron the chance to tell everyone in person how much he loved them, and for them to express their feelings to him and to say good bye in person. Deborah was able to visit with the family and be supported through the Christmas season while in Ottawa.
Ron was born in Ottawa and grew up in Shawville, Quebec on the Hodgins’ farm. Ron had great stories about his life on the farm, and especially about some of his pets; the protective Banti rooster, the roaming Jersey cow ‘Daisy’ and his beloved horse ‘Mickey’.
Ron’s professional life was illustrious! He began his working career at the age of 16 when he and Lorne helped to build the dam at Sishwa. He next joined the Air Force in Saskatoon, becoming an aero-engineer technician and working on Mitchell bombers during the Korean War. After the war he worked as a millwright on the rigs in Calgary before returning to Ontario to work in the nickel mine in Sudbury. He went on to open his own business in Quebec, “Pontiac Auto Wreckers” before moving to Sault Sainte Marie where he settled into married life with his first wife Norrie while working for Sears. Norrie and Ron had their children Edward and Janice. This began Ron’s life in Search and Rescue too. He was part of the dive team and had experiences that would stay with him a lifetime. Ron’s other passions included the Valley Rider Ski-Do Club, skiing, camping, motorcycles and touring clubs. He was a ‘Mr. Fix-it” and was always lending a hand to everyone and anyone.
Deborah and Ron met in Ottawa while both working for Sears and fell in love. Ron sparked a passion for skiing in Deb and the kids- he taught them all to ski after becoming a ski instructor. This led to family trips to Killington, Vermont and to Edelweiss, Quebec. Watching Ron carve down a mountain was breathtaking as he was so graceful!
Sears moved Deb and Ron out west in 1980, and they were married in Heritage Park, Calgary with family by their side. They had their daughter, Candice and Ron began his career with Canada Customs at the Calgary Airport. Ron’s career took the family of three to Creston, Rossland and Trail. Deb and Ron also enjoyed their regular visits to their property in San Felipe, Mexico for 15 incredible years. These were special times for the couple, Deb’s Mom and Dad and also Candice. Ron retired from Canada Customs at the age of 65. Soon after retirement, Ron went back to work part time at Schneider Lumber and then to Maglio’s where he absolutely loved his job!
Ron is predeceased by his parents, Garfield and Mary (Schram) Hodgins, his first wife, Norberta Roach, his grandparents, cousins and friends (including his best friend Lorne whom he had returned to Ottawa to visit).
He is survived by his wife Deborah, children Ed (Shahla), Janice (Mark) and Candice; grandchildren Emma, Cody and Harley, great grandson Jaxon, cousins Helen, Royce and Rita and all of his beloved family and friends.
A Last Post and Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:00am at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #11 in Trail, BC. Gwen Ziprick of Alternatives Funeral and Cremations has been entrusted with the arrangements. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence by visiting the families’ register at www.myalternatives.ca
As an expression of sympathy, your donations to the Trail Association for Community Living -www.taclkootenays.com would be greatly appreciated.
Deborah wishes to thank the Mystic Dream Dancers, all of their wonderful friends, Flight Paramedic and all of the nurses and doctors who were on this journey. A special thanks to Reverend Ken Siemens, Dr. Scully and the nurses of the 3rd floor (KBRH).
Ronnie, I love you to the moon and back. OXO Thumbs Up!