Ronald Franklin Dameron died early Friday morning, July 12, 2013, at the age of 82. Surviving him are his wife of 61 years, Leona Dameron; sons Dan (Gayle) and Bob (Tina) Dameron, and daughter Diane (Rick) Allen; eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. Also surviving Ron are a brother, Harvey Kingery, and three sisters, Ruth DeSando, Joan Lewis, and Harriett Marriott; and numerous nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed.
Ronald was born in Turlock, CA, and attended elementary and high school in Hughson, CA. He received a bachelor's degree from UCLA
and then joined the U. S. Army
, where he rose to the rank of second lieutenant. After discharge, he taught high school in Ontario, CA, before moving to Santa Cruz as the first vice principal of Soquel High School. He received a PhD in education from Claremont Graduate School. He opened Harbor High School in Santa Cruz as principal in 1968 and stayed until 1977. Dr. Dameron then moved to Galt as the superintendent of the Galt Joint Union High School District until his retirement in 1985. After retirement, Ron and Leona spent two separate years teaching English at colleges for teachers in China. They led Habitat for Humanity summer builds in Montana, Alaska, and New Mexico, with volunteers from all over the country. They organized, raised funds, and supervised volunteers in building two complete Habitat homes in Galt. Ron was a Rotarian
for more than 40 years, and was the charter president of the Galt Rotary Club in 1984. He was a member and past president of the Galt Historical Society, the Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Galt Planning Commission. He and Leona served on the board of Lodi Community Concert Association. Ron was an active member in local United Methodist Churches throughout his life, including as a college student working to rebuild a church in war-torn Germany, and later served as a lay minister to Methodist Churches in Tuolumne and Soulsbyville in 1987-88. He received a Bishop's Award for service to the United Methodist Church and the District Governor's Rotarian Community Service Award. As Parkinson's Disease took its toll, Ron and Leona moved from their walnut ranch in Galt to a retirement residence in Lodi in 2012.
In addition to residential construction, Ron loved outdoor activities and sports. He was an avid skier, backpacker, golfer, fisherman, and tennis player; and could even ride a unicycle. Ron was also a story-teller who self-published books about his experiences as a high school principal and as an English teacher in China. On his 80th birthday, he told the story about falling while skiing at the age of 77. Having broken both legs, he said, he didn't have a leg to stand on. As humorist, educator, conscientious citizen, patient diplomat, confidante, friend and Christian example, Ron touched countless lives.
A memorial service is planned at the Galt United Methodist Church Sunday, July 21, at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Parkinson Association of Northern California or the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).