After the usual routine—call to order by Prez Gary, pledge by Rusty, prayer by Mike Tanner and Four-Way Test by Ron, it became clear that this was not going to be a “typical” Phoenix West Rotary meeting. Our first clue was the reappearance Carnac (Prez Gary) and his faithful assistant (John Norris) whom we had not seen since the Installation Dinner. Karnak was in top form with his answers to secret questions—may we have the envelope please!

When Shawn collected his Happy Bucks, the great majority were in honor of Ron’s 90th birthday coming up on January 10! (We note that Mike Harrison celebrated his birthday on Jan 1 and John Angelo coming up on Jan 14—when you guys turn 90 a ways down the road, we’ll celebrate you too!) 

Ron’s sister started her remarks with “Four score and seven years ago”—but quickly clarified it was actually 90 years ago that Ron was delivered by his grandfather at home in Southwest Missouri in a town of 1,000 people. The town had two grocery stores and a funeral parlor. His two sisters came along nine and twelve years later. Ron was an industrious Eagle Scout delivering groceries and starting a shoe shining business. He attended Kansas State Teacher’s College majoring in business and serving as President of Student Council. 

Ron’s oldest son David picked up the story about his “Old Man” indicating he had served in the Navy for three years on the USS Wasp based in Coronado where he met David’s Mom, Pat. They moved to the Bay Area where Ron received his graduate degree at Cal Berkeley. Three sons graced the family—Don, Mark and Peter. The family spent time in Buffalo and Detroit before “wising up” and moving to Arizona, joining United Bank for twenty years—they merged with City Bank. Ron became the father of the first ATM or what he called the Ugly Teller. 

Ron joined Rotary Midtown in 1973 and ended up at Phoenix West when Midtown and Thunderbird clubs merged with Phoenix West in 2004 or 05. 

David paid high compliments to his Dad indicating that he taught the value of hard work, stressing the importance of education and to never give up. 

Wilma shared a few choice gifts with Ron—a book by Dr. Seuss and signed by club members and an audience participation poem below, along with a bag of prunes! All done in good fun! 

Another book, A Chip off the Old Block is being donated to an Osborn School in PDG Ron’s honor. We forgot to mention it, but didjaknow that the practice of donating a book to a school in honor of the speaker was actually started by Ron when he was a member of Midtown Rotary - Phoenix West thought that was a great idea and has maintained the practice since the merger of Midtown with Phoenix West, along with the Thunderbird Club, about fifteen or sixteen years ago.