Ronald Theadore (Rondall) Toms (1937 - 2017)

  • "Ron 12 days after his cataract removal surgery at Alaska..."
    - Susan Toms
  • "Glen Furney, early Spring 1954. The home that the Toms..."
    - Susan Toms
  • "On June 16, 1996 I had sent in a surprise for my Dad Ron to..."
    - Susan Toms
  • "Ron and daughter Susan being the silly Geminis they are..."
    - Susan
  • "What a great man to have to be our tour guide in this life."
    - Susan Toms

Ron, 79, passed away in his home from an aggressive-fast acting form of pancreatic cancer on June 8, 2017; he was then cremated.
Ron was born in Waynesboro, Pa., to his late father, John, and mother, Bernadean (Gonder) Toms.
He is survived by his brothers, Robert Toms of Fair Oaks, Calif., and Marvin Toms of Waynesboro, Pa.; sisters, Darlene Mohn of Waynesboro, Pa., and Charlene (Sue) Fuss of Harrodsburg, Ky.; sons and daughter, Ronnie, John and Susan Toms; grandchildren, Rayce and Darian Toms, all of Anchorage, Alaska; as well as five more grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Charles and Archie of Anchorage and Johnny of Santa Rosa, Calif.; sister, Dolores (Peg) Little of Waynesboro, Pa.; and grandson, Jayke Fleming of Anchorage.
Ron, as a teenager, worked his local bowling alley in Glen Furney, and picked peaches and cherries in neighboring farms. Ron left home, at age 17, and hitchhiked to California, up the Alcan Highway through Canada. Through talking with the man he hitchhiked with, he found out there was a brand-new city being built called "Tent City," now known as Anchorage. Ron arrived in Alaska before it even became the 49th state. Tough times were ahead in "Alaska: The Last Frontier," neither having a car nor license to drive. Ron found many means of work: from a baker's assistant at Wool Worth's downtown; hanging sheetrock/drywall on Fort Richardson; at the railroad, buying/selling scrap metal; a logger; and cook's helper on a campsite in Port Heiden, Alaska, for a large group of men.
In 1957, Ron worked for a Pinball Arcade/Cafe on 4th Ave. There, he met a woman named Meribeth: she was 16, and he was 20. In 1960, three years later, Ron and Meribeth married and had two sons - one in '61 and one '62 - and in 1971, his daughter was born.
In 1974, Ron opened a furniture store, ran that business for 43 years and then recently sold it and retired on Feb. 28, 2017. Unfortunately, Ron's death occurred 100 days later.
Ron was passionate about working, repairing things, fishing and camping in Alaska's wilderness, and especially loved gold mining. For over 30 years, Ron hiked and 4-wheeled up the mountain of Hope, Alaska to Bear Creek, where he panned and dredged for gold. When Ron spoke of gold mining, he would smile and say, "I might just strike it rich!" then wink at them.
To many, Ron had nerves of steel, yet was balanced, gentle, kind, patient and a very giving man. He was known for helping out "the underdogs." Ron earned his keep a 100-fold when it came to giving others a leg up. Being a selfless man, he was sure to leave himself just enough to get by. Ron wasn't one to burden others with his problems; he either paid them or returned the favor to show his thanks. Ron was like a campfire that people were drawn to for his warmth, comfort and security. He was a hardworking, true-blue, Alaskan Pioneer. Turns out, Ron was actually the gold that others would find, if they were lucky enough to cross his path.
Ron was truly loved and will be greatly missed, especially by his family.
Memorial donations can be made to: Alaska USA Federal Credit Union: Acct. #639231; or flowers and cards sent to: 2865 Kristen Circle, Anchorage, AK 99507. Ron fancied red and yellow tulips.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from July 25 to July 26, 2017