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Ronald Eugene Wallin


1943 - 2018
Ronald Eugene Wallin Obituary
Ronald Eugene Wallin, 74, of Mackinaw City, passed away peacefully on Wed., Feb. 7, 2018, at the Evergreen Living Center in St. Ignace. He had been a resident in the Mackinac Straits Health Care facility after suffering a severe stroke in February of 2016.
Born on June 25, 1943, to Robert E. and Dorothy M. Wallin (née Lloyd), Ron lived most of his life in Mackinaw City. A 1961 graduate of Mackinaw City High School, Ron found his way to Michigan State University where he earned a BA in Economics. A young idealist, Ron was admitted to the third group of Peace Corps volunteers where he learned the Tagalog language and how to become an effective teacher. He spent two years teaching on Mindanao in the Philippines. Upon his return, Ron again attended MSU and earned a master's degree in Comparative and International Education. With the soul of a gypsy, Ron followed his interests with independent study in Europe and Japan, and with lengthy visits to Turkey and Hilo, Hawaii which became his home for seven years.
Ron returned to Mackinaw City in 1975 to become a caregiver for family members. His deep love for the beauty and environment of the Straits area with its sandy land, its clear waters, its clean air, was reawakened. Caregiving became Ron's passion. A skilled handyman, he soon found himself assisting numerous community residents who were unable to help themselves. He then decided to enter the political life of the village. Elected Village President in 1978, Ron served four consecutive two-year terms. Elected again in 2007, Ron served two more years as village president.
Ron was driven by his vision of Mackinaw City as an economically strong and environmentally healthy gem at the intersection of lakes Huron and Michigan. He brought a deep commitment, exceptional leadership, administrative skills, and a meld of academic and cosmopolitan flair to Mackinaw City government. He believed that maintaining and enhancing the natural, scenic view of the waterfront was a top priority, and he was responsible for creating the waterfront pocket parks and Indian Pathways Park, supporting the development of North Huron Avenue into an attractive boulevard, and advocating for the beautification of downtown Central Avenue. Ron communicated his vision ardently and got results. Many said his departure from the local political scene left an unmistakable void.
Ron did not consider himself a "joiner," but he was a member of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Legion, Post 149; an original member of the Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment; and a co-founder of the Mackinaw Straits Raptor Watch.
Ron is survived by his beloved life-partner of 32 years Joann Leal, her son Jeff Leal and family of Silver Springs, Md., and her daughter Libby and husband Tim Ash and their family of Fort Wayne, In.; his brother Bob and wife Liina of Ann Arbor, Mich., and their children Astrid and husband Mike Fossum and their family of Milwaukee, WI.; their son Nicholas and wife Alice Swan and their children of Evanston, Ill., and first cousin Fred Wallin and wife JoAnne and their children Paul and Kelli Jo of Mackinaw City, as well as countless friends and acquaintances.
A memorial service to celebrate Ron's life will be announced this spring. Those who wish to do so may make a memorial contribution to the Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch, c/o P.O. Box 1465, Petoskey, MI 49770.
Arrangements handled by Dodson Funeral Home., St. Ignace, Michigan. Condolences may be left at [email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected]
His family and close friends wish to give him special thanks to the many staff members, both medical and otherwise, of the Mackinac Straits Health System and the Evergreen living center, who cared for
Ron during his residency and grew to love him as he did them.
Published in Cheboygan Daily Tribune on Feb. 22, 2018
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