Ronald F. DeGarmo

  • "can't believe a year has gone by...."
    - jen
  • "thinking about Dad a lot today.....making his famous smoked..."
    - jen schaffer
  • "Ron was a very personable man. One does not usually find..."
    - Frank+Diane Schaffer
  • "I am sorry to hear of your loss and send my sincere..."
  • " not sure how long Dads obituary will be on the newspaper..."
    - J. schaffer

Ronald F. DeGarmo, 81, died Feb. 20, 2009, at his home in Wasilla of natural causes.
A memorial service was Thursday at Christ First United Methodist Church at the corner of Knik Road and Fairview Loop in Wasilla.
Ron was born Sept. 28, 1927, in Macksville, Kan. He was the 14th of 15 children born to Clyde and Clara DeGarmo.
Ron enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945, right out of high school and was stationed at Point Higgins Radio Station in Ketchikan. In 1949, he went to work for the CAA (now FAA). After training in Oklahoma City, he returned to Alaska to work as an air traffic controller in Anchorage. In 1951, he transferred to Goodland, Kan., where he met and married Helen Darnell in 1953. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on Sept. 13, 2008. Ron continued his career with the FAA, working in Muskegon, Mich., Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Atlantic City, N.J., Longmont, Colo., and back to Anchorage from 1977-1982 as the assistant manager of Anchorage Center. He transferred to the Seattle Regional Office where he retired in December 1982. In 1986 he returned to Anchorage Center to manage the contract training program for SRSA for two years and again in 1991 to manage a Russian Controller English program for SRSA.
Ron and Helen lived in Bellingham, Wash., for 13 years before moving back to Alaska in the spring of 2003 to their home in Wasilla.
"Ron was an extremely diverse person," his family recalled. "He loved to travel, fish, garden, anything to do with airplanes, and he could make anything out of wood. He was a well-known fixture at the Valley craft bazaars. He loved spending time with his family. His passion for Alaska seemed to grow with his age. A favorite summer excursion came to be the family trip to Chitina for dip netting, where even at 80 he outdipped us all. Just last summer, he finally caught that elusive king salmon, a 45-pounder, with a rod and reel! Many a winter night was spent out at the family farm, where Ron was the "burger grinder" for the road kill moose gang he was a part of. Ron was a Christian and a role model for his family his whole life. He was known lovingly as 'Grandpa Ron' to many people. His Christian example of love and generosity was felt by all who met and knew him. We can rest assured he is at home with our Lord in heaven."
Ronald F. DeGarmo is survived by his wife, Helen; son, Kevin of Minnesota; daughters, Janice (Ken) Gittlein of Wasilla and Jennifer (Dan) Schaffer of Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Nicholas (Katie), Matt (Rita), Brian (Rachel), Ben and Sam Gittlein, Leah and Ronnie DeGarmo, Elise, Brad and Nicole Schaffer; great-granddaughters, Devin Gittlein and Kaydence Sommerville; brothers, Harry DeGarmo and Archie DeGarmo; and sister, Louise Kagarice.
He was preceded in death by his parents; eight brothers; and three sisters.
Arrangements are with Valley Funeral Home in Wasilla
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28, 2009
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