It is with profound sadness that the family of Ron Korkola announce his sudden passing on Sunday December 30, 2018, of a heart attack. He was 58 years old.
Ron was born on October 18, 1960 in Port Arthur ON to Ron and Rose Ann Korkola (nee Racic). He attended schools in his hometown of Thunder Bay ON and graduated from Lakehead University with a BSc in Chemistry. He began his career with Ontario Power Generation over 30 years ago, starting at the Nuclear Generating Station in Pickering ON eventually returning to Thunder Bay to work at the coal generating station and then the HydroElectric Control Room. Ron thrived on the high level of responsibility and expertise required to work with OPG, especially that required at the nuclear generating station. Ron firmly believed that any job worth doing, was worth doing well. In Ron’s words, “Perfect is good enough”. Having said that, he was very much looking forward to his retirement later this month.
Passionate about the outdoors, Ron always said time spent in the wilderness was good for his soul. He loved Northwestern Ontario and enjoyed exploring its many lakes and rivers. He was an avid angler and enjoyed sharing his fishing trips with good friends and family. Ron always took care of those in his boat first and made sure they were on fish before he dropped his line. He was a long-standing member and director of the North Shore Steelhead Association.
Ron was always active and maintained an exceptional level of physical fitness. He earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 47, crediting the martial arts for instilling in him the discipline to stay fit. He skied and played hockey throughout his life. Ron loved the mountains. He enjoyed annual ski vacations for more than 25 years, going on his own if friend, family or acquaintance were not available to travel with him. Without fail he made a friend on the hill. His friends and family have so many wonderful memories of time together on the mountains. Angela, Evan, Danielle and Ron were blessed with a day together as a family at Loch Lomond two days prior to his passing. Evan, Danielle and Ron managed to rip the Jolly Giant that day. Ron loved both watching and playing hockey and was fortunate play regularly until the Christmas break. The hockey guys were a second family to him.
Ron loved to travel and was looking forward to his retirement so that he and Angela could explore the world together. As an expression of his love and pride for his stepchildren, he had promised them he would take them each on a trip of a lifetime when they graduated from university. He was in the process of booking a ski vacation to Japan with Evan to celebrate Evan’s recent graduation from engineering.
He was a man of integrity and honesty, and valued hard work and striving for something worthwhile. He was the ultimate pragmatist. He had a deep appreciation for friendship, and he had many friends, young and old and in-between. They will miss his friendship, wit and off-beat sense of humour. He was a wonderful teacher and has had a huge impact on Evan and Danielle.
Finally, and most importantly, Ron will be remembered by loved ones as the consummate family man. He and Angela came together 15 years ago…they always joked it was their destiny. He was a loving partner and an amazing stepfather to Evan and Danielle. He loved his family more than anything. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to take care of them. His love and care extended to his mom and stepdad, sister and brother and their extended families as well as Angela’s family.
Ron will be forever loved and missed by his spouse, Angela Saunders, stepchildren Evan and Danielle, his mother Rose Ann Korkola and stepfather Marty Pantoulias, sister Lori (Bruce Van Nus), brother Jeff (Sandy), niece and nephew Olivia and Jesse Korkola, parents-in-law Reg and Delores Arnberg, sister-in-law Debbie (Michael) Bemben, as well as loving aunts Ruth and Anna Racic, and Kay Suligoj, and many cousins. Ron will be missed by his loyal companion, Mya. They spent many hours hiking up Mount McRae together.
He is predeceased by his father Ronald O Korkola, grandparents Nick and Mary Racic and Otto and Laura Korkola, as well as beloved uncles Martin and George Racic, Stan Suligoj, Ken Korkola and cousin Doug Racic.
Ron is so loved and will be so missed by his family, friends and community. In his honour, please go out and enjoy the outdoors with someone you love.
If friends so desire, donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, The Andrew Miedema Foundation, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 from 4:30-7:00p.m. in the Best Western Plus Nor’Wester Hotel – McGillivray Room.
Ron Korkola will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 9, 2019.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410, Toronto ON M4P 3J1
Charity of Choice