Kasilof resident Ronald Jay Swanson died of cancer Thursday, Dec. 25, 2003, surrounded by his family in Eugene, Ore. He was 57.
Since September he had been cared for at his son's home in Portland, Ore., and his mother's home in Eugene.
A celebration of life will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road. Pastor Joe Knox will officiate. A reception will be held immediately following the service.
Mr. Swanson met his wife, Jackie, in Kenai at his original Ron's Rent-All Store. They were married Nov. 18, 1971, and made their home on the Kasilof River for 32 years.
Mr. Swanson was a prominent businessman in the Kenai-Soldotna area for more than 35 years.
His great vision allowed him to grow from a one-room store 37 years ago into Ron's Rent It Center in Kenai and Ron's Honda Center in Soldotna.
"One of his greatest gifts in life was his ability to envision, design and build. He truly believed no task was too large and that anything is possible when you are willing to make sacrifices and work with diligence. He dared to dream big dreams, which will continue to inspire us all," his family said.
As a member of the community, Mr. Swanson had seen many changes in the Kenai area over the many decades. This peaked his interest in preserving Alaska history and led him to become an active member of the Kasilof Historical Society.
Mr. Swanson was an outdoor enthusiast. He spent many enjoyable years hiking and hunting in the mountains around the Cliff House on Tustumena Lake. He loved snowmachining with his family in the Caribou Hills. His most recent pure joy was spending time with his family in Homer and working on their Sadie Cove cabin.
Mr. Swanson was preceded in death by his son, Richard Swanson, and his father, John R. Swanson.
He is survived by his mother, Ganelle Ruzicka of Eugene; wife of 32 years, Jacqueline Swanson of Kasilof; sons, Jared of Soldotna, and Travis and Justin, both of Portland; daughter and son-in-law, Sherri and Roger Needham of Montrose, Colo.; daughter-in-law, Shannon Swanson of Nikiski; sister and brother in-law, David and Ann Letzring of Kasilof; grandsons, Ryan, Christopher and David Swanson, all of Nikiski; granddaughters, Kena, Keeli, Kayla and Kelsi Needham, all of Montrose; as well as uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorials in memory of Mr. Swanson may be made to the Kasilof Historical Society, P.O. Box 3, Kasilof, AK 99610.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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