April 5, 1917 - August 23, 2016
With sadness, we note the passing of Ronald T. Fath. He was 8 months shy of reaching 100, one of the very few goals he set that he didn't meet in his long accomplished life. Recently he had been enjoying the summer weather, watching the squirrels and birds play on his deck. He was not looking forward to one more cold Edmonton winter. He was, however, looking forward to joining his beloved wife Mary, his partner in all things for 70 plus years, and perhaps that cinched the deal for him.
Ron passed comfortably at home, surrounded by loving family and caregivers. He was peaceful about his imminent death, often waking up with a smile saying, "I'm still here". As of last week, he was still making plans and giving us all directions to carry them out.
Ron remains a model of affection, generosity, morality, and sound judgment for the large close knit family who survive him: his children and sons- and daughters-in-law Jo, Nancy (Jerry McKay), Dennis (Brandi), Tom (Jo-Ann Kolmes), Maureen, Janet Johnstone (Ken), and Dave (Colleen); 18 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Nancy McLaughlin of Edmonton and Ehren Fath of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He will be remembered well by the many close friends he and Mary enjoyed over the years.
Ron was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated high school at the age of 16 and earned his B Sc. in Business Administration from Marquette University in 1943. WWII came along and 1943-45 found the young Army Staff Sergeant posted to Edmonton. Always a decisive fellow, that was enough time to fall in love with Mary Z. O'Brien, marry her, and produce their first child. Ron returned to Milwaukee with his young family and took advantage of the GI Bill, completing a Law Degree at Marquette University in 1948. Ron articled at a Milwaukee accounting firm and received his Wisconsin CPA in 1949. Then with 3 young children in tow, Ron and Mary returned to Edmonton where opportunity awaited. They spent the rest of their lives here, with the exception of escaping cold winters by heading south to Southern California and then Arizona.
In the early 50's Ron worked at Sparling Davis/CESSCO. Being exceptionally intelligent, well educated, ambitious, hard working, and with a tremendously supportive wife, Ron was not content with a salaried 9 to 5 job. While working full time, he studied for the Alberta exam and become a Chartered Accountant in 1957. He was a founding member of South Edmonton Rotary Club, and of the Derrick Club and its surrounding Westbrook housing development. In 1956 he and partners Art O'Hanlon and Harold Smith started O'Hanlon Paving. In 60 years the business grew significantly, ultimately into a cluster of companies called the Fath Group with 600 employees during peak season. By 1990 the Faths had bought out Art and Harold, and in 2007 Ron and Mary sold their remaining shares to sons Tom and Dave. Ron remained active in the business, attending weekly financial meetings as recently as last year. Ron recalled the 1950's as busy times when he'd get together with a good group of people who had a dream and embark on what he used to referred to as "a calculated risk". He noted that he and Mary were pretty lucky in that all of these ventures were successful.
A strong supporter of the local community Ron served in various capacities for St. Anthony, St. Agnes, and St. Thomas More Churches, Archdiocese of Edmonton, Knights of Columbus, McKernan Community League, Alberta Speedskating Association, Alberta Road Builders Association, and Alberta Chartered Accountants. He received numerous lifetime memberships and awards, among them the 2015 Alberta Chartered Accountants Education Fund Award.
With a lifelong dedication to health and physical activity, his recreational interests included dancing, golf, bridge, badminton, tennis, and ping pong and photography. Ron and Mary were avid sports fans. They held seasons tickets for the Edmonton Eskimos since the 1950's, and more recently Ron followed FCE soccer at home games and on television.
The Family would especially like to thank Dr. Grace Bokenfohr, and Dad's longtime devoted caregivers: niece Dennie, Shaz, Vivian, Shallott, and Fatima. Thanks also to Ed and Elsie, his yoga instructor Paige, massage therapist John, the nail and hair grooming women who came in to keep up his appearance, and RAPS. Ron was, and his family are, very appreciative of all the wonderful services provided by AHS Home Care. It takes a village to care for an older person in their home, and Dad spent his last years in the midst of a loving one.
Generous of nature, Ron & Mary gave unstintingly to a number of local and international charities. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Donations may be made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul www.ssvpedmonton.ca
Prayers will be held 7:00 PM Monday September 19 at Connelly-McKinley Downtown Chapel 10011 - 114 Street Edmonton. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 11 AM Tuesday September 20 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. 210 Haddow Close, NW Edmonton.