Ronald Edward Hontz

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SHREWSBURY — Ronald Edward Hontz, 69, of Shrewsbury, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, at the WellSpan York Hospital, York.

Born on Aug. 17, 1946, in Nesbitt Memorial Hospital, Kingston, he was the only surviving child of the late Albert Warren Hontz Sr., Sweet Valley, and the late Viola (Smith) Hontz, Larksville. His mother died in 1953, when Ron was only six, and his father passed in 1976.

He is survived by half-brothers, Clifford A. Hontz, Sweet Valley, and Robert W. Hontz, Raleigh, North Carolina; five nieces and two nephews.

Ron graduated from Lake-Lehman High School in 1964. Thanks to the efforts of principal Tony Marchakitus, who pushed him in the right direction, Ron won the Sordoni Foundation scholarship and was able to attend King's College tuition-free. He graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.

He began his career with the federal government as an Assistant National Bank Examiner with the U.S. Treasury Department. His career was rudely interrupted by a draft notice six months later. Instead of becoming cannon fodder in Vietnam, Ron chose to enlist in the U.S. Navy, where he served a little over two years as a quartermaster. He managed to rupture a disk, and it was surgically removed on his 24 birthday, in 1970. He received a medical discharge in May 1971, and the VA paid him a 20 percent service-connected-injury pension for the remainder of his life.

Beyond his winning the Sordoni Foundation scholarship, Hurricane Agnes, in 1972, served as a second, life-altering event for Ron. The Small Business Administration, in charge of the Federal Disaster Loan Program, borrowed Ron and other bank examiners to help make disaster loans in the Wyoming Valley. He found the work quite rewarding, so he quit the previous job and spent the next four years making disaster loans for the Small Business Administration in several states.

In 1976, the S.B.A. rewarded him with a full-time position as a loan officer, working with their business loan programs in Richmond, Virginia. He spent the next seven years there. Ron was promoted in 1983, moved to the Baltimore District Office and bought a home across the Mason Dixon Line in Shrewsbury, York County. By 1994, Ron had completed a 25-year career as a federal employee. He took advantage of an early-out offer and retired at age 47.

Following his retirement, Ron enjoyed doing only what he chose to do each day with few, if any, demands on his time. With no wife to assign him tasks, he spent a great deal of time on the Internet, downloading songs and movies and burning CDs and DVDs for his friends. He developed an interest in genealogy and after doing his own family tree, explored those of other Ross Township families. He also researched and wrote articles on local history, which were posted to his own web site,

Over the course of his life, he enjoyed doing several other things to help others. He coached a Little League team and read newspapers on the radio, to aid the print-handicapped. He excelled at languages and considered himself a wordsmith. He listened to and transcribed the lyrics to nearly 2,000 songs, and posted them on the Internet to help others sing along.

Ron will be cremated and his ashes interred in Maple Grove Cemetery, Pikes Creek. Stop by and visit him sometime. His is the only tombstone with "Curmudgeon" inscribed upon it. Then go home and look it up.

Arrangements are by the Curtis L. Swanson Funeral Home Inc., Pikes Creek.

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Curtis L. Swanson Funeral Home Inc.
2386 SR 118
Hunlock Creek, PA 18621
(570) 477-2500
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Published in Times Leader from Nov. 6 to Nov. 7, 2015
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