Dr. Ronald Hugh LaFayette|
Dr. Ronald Hugh LaFayette, a well respected educator and advocate of all people passed the morning of February 22, 2014. Born January 5, 1942 in Glendale, California and spent most of his adult life in Washington State from Seattle to Spokane with a life long commitment to family, education and service while leaving a legacy that would impact the relationship between communities, the business sector and education state and nation wide.
Ron led curriculum, legislative and leadership initiatives for students with disabilities, particularly for the deaf and the hearing impaired. Friends well remember walking in Seattle with Ron as he signed with students and friends as they passed by.
Ron received his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Brigham Young University in 1985, investing deeply in understanding how leadership could affect social change and more productive educational systems. Throughout the balance of his career, rooted largely in the State of Washington's Community Colleges, his organizations fostered pragmatic solutions through a portfolio of on-campus, on-site and distance learning programs. He believed deeply in the value of higher education not only for our students, but for the businesses and industries for whom they would work. He consulted nationally, before Congress, and internationally on 3 continents. He served as the interim President of Spokane Community College. He was then asked to serve as the Director of Workforce Education in Olympia for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
Ron assumed the leadership of North Seattle Community College as President in 2001. Until his retirement in 2010, Ron continued to provide a path for non-traditional students with programs like "Today's Students -
Tomorrow's Teachers," an extension center developed with Western Washington University while similar programs were designed at Eastern Washington University.
His legacy will be much more than his professional achievements. It will be the sense of connection he brought to us all. He was particularly magical with young people. He so easily connected with and mentored children in ways that will be remembered for generations. It is simply who he was.
Ron is survived by his loving wife Pamela, his three children Nathan, Jason and Anne-Marie, his father Harry, his siblings Beverly, Robert, Mark and Marcella. He loved us all. We loved him back, deeply and forever. We learned from him, that love and acceptance of all people could breach all lines.
A Celebration of Life worship service will be held at First Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 2015 E. Blackburn Rd, Mt Vernon WA 98274 on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM.
Family suggests memorials in Ron's name go to "Hearing, Speech & Deafness Center" of Seattle. Found at: http://www.hsdc.org.
Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home
of Mount Vernon.
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2014