Ron passed peacefully at the age of 66, with his wife and daughters at his side, on September 11, 2021, after a brief encounter with cancer. Predeceased by his parents, Shirley (1976) and Hughie (1971); his loving Aunt, Marj (1990); and recently his brother Rick (Sept. 2021). Ron is survived by his wife, Marj and three daughters, Morgan Hewitt, Brady Spencer (Peter) and Kate Lemieux (Josh); 5 grandchildren, Camdyn, Mason, Grey, Ashton and Joelle; as well as two brothers and nieces and nephews.
Ron was a loving and devoted father and papa. He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren, rarely missing a concert, gymnastics meet, hockey or basketball game, and cherishing Christmas and Thanksgiving get-togethers, missing only one over 40 years, due to Covid.
Ron worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors. He was a dedicated public servant serving in the Government of Saskatchewan from 1978 to 2003, in Justice and as Clerk of the Executive Council and Associate Deputy Minister to the Premier, as well as Vice-President of Information Services Corporation (ISC). He was proud of the role he played in the development of the legislative base of the Province of Saskatchewan through policy and legislative development and the Cabinet Committee and records management system. He was the second youngest recipient ever in Saskatchewan, of the Queen’s Counsel designation in 1989 for his service to the Crown. As a self-professed “Mono-maniac on a mission”; he brought new ideas that were often opposed by the status quo. He promoted the use of mediation in court cases. He was the mastermind behind the LAND system in Saskatchewan as well as the Information Services Corporation. He also was the Provincial Negotiator for the first successful Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement that served as a model for future agreements.
From 2003 to 2011, he was Consultant and President of GeoSpatial/SALASAN in Victoria and was instrumental in several Justice, Land Titles, Court Services and Gender projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Palestine. He was made an Officer of the Sahametrei Order by the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia for contributions to the people of Cambodia through the redevelopment of the land titles system in Cambodia.
As President and CEO of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Ron spear-headed a major identity update for the Foundation and the building of Jeenece Place, a home away from home for families of pediatric patients, on the grounds of the Victoria General Hospital. Ron continued his legal career at Legal Aid Alberta and then the Provincial Court of Alberta, where he was instrumental in the development of the first Memorandum of Agreement for institutional independence for the Court.
Following his retirement, he went back to school at the University of Alberta to study his lifelong passion, interior design, completing his Certificate in Residential Interiors as the pandemic began. While he was denied the opportunity to pursue a new career in design, he was proud that he formalized his learning and talent.
Despite all his accomplishments, Ron was most proud of his three daughters and regretted that he will not be able to share in their future accomplishments and those of their children.
The family wishes to offer heartfelt thanks to the home palliative care team and the Pilgrims Hospice staff, nurses, physicians and volunteers for their outstanding and compassionate care during his final days.
No flowers please. Memorial contributions in Ron’s name may be made to the Pilgrims Hospice Society https://pilgrimshospice.com/get-involved/make-a-donation/
A Memorial Service will be announced and held at a future date.