Ron’s career started in the Navy right out of high school. Next stop was college, graduating in natural resources. First job out of college in 1964 was with the U.S. Forest Service. He spent 30 years in government service before retiring and moving with his wife, Christine, to Cedar Key.
Apparently, retirement wasn’t for him. As a Friends volunteer, he agreed to a 10-year commitment in 2009 to undertake the maintenance of the Refuge’s Shell Mound archaeology and recreational site which was not staffed at the time.
His responsibilities at Shell Mound varied from maintaining trails, trimming vegetation, and facilities management, to giving impromptu guided tours to visitors of the archaeological site when his maintenance schedule allowed. He and other Friends’ volunteers worked with UF Archaeologist Ken Sassaman providing input as it related to the culture and history of the people who constructed Shell Mound.
Andrew Gude related that, “Ron will be sorely missed. He was a highly dedicated staff member who always interacted with the public, guiding them around the Shell Mound area and interpreting the history of the unit. We wish Ron the best in his full retirement (it might be his third).”
“What a gift Ron has been to the Refuges," said Friends' president Peg Hall. "He has provided thirteen years of dedicated service, personal friendship, and protection of the area's precious natural resources. He’s irreplaceable and we’re so grateful.”