Ronald Arnison, BASc’54

Ronald ArnisonOn June 5, 2018, Ronald (Ron) Arnison passed away peacefully in his sleep, aged 86. He is loved and survived by children Debra (Glen Sutton), Susan (Greg Olsen), Mark (Tami Cooper), and Jan (John Levenick). Missing him deeply are grandchildren Jessica Morrison Golosky (Eric Golosky), Amy Morrison, David Sutton, Graeme Arnison and Finn Arnison. He was predeceased by his wife June Evelyn (Kirk) and his parents Fred and Frances (Madge) (Watson) Arnison.

Ron was born March 16, 1932 in Vancouver, BC, and spent his early years in Vancouver.

Family camping trips to Shuswap Lake in a trailer built by his father ignited a lifelong love of the outdoors. This was later expressed in camping and fishing trips with his own family, in hunting trips with a small group who became enduring friends, and in golfing after retirement.

During university Ron took summer jobs surveying, and as a fire tower lookout, that had him hiking into the bush for extended periods. There he learned to cook for himself and bake bread, unusual skills for a man at that time.

Ron and June became an item at UBC while he was studying civil engineering and she was in home economics, building on a friendship they’d had since high school. Ron graduated in 1954 and they married in Vancouver (October 31, 1955). Following the birth of two daughters they travelled and lived in northern BC while Ron managed road construction projects. In 1958 they moved to Banff, where their son was born, and from there to Jasper where they had their fourth child. Later moves included Saskatoon, Ottawa and finally Edmonton.

Most of Ron’s career was spent with the federal Department of Public Works, starting with road design and construction. Later, he was responsible for the management of federal buildings in western Canada. He finished his career as the project manager for the construction of Canada Place in Edmonton.

Ron was very proud of his tangible legacy evidenced in part by the Icefields Parkway, the Nigel Creek Bridge, the highway from Jasper to Maligne Lake, and the retaining wall that supports Highway 93 south by Storm Mountain Lodge.

Once retired, Ron took up golf, cementing yet more friendships. He accompanied June while she indulged her passion for history, genealogy and the collection of antique patterned glass, travelling to over 20 U.S. states for conventions, meetings, and genealogical research.

Ron loved being a Grandad and had a special relationship with and place in his heart for each of his five grandchildren.

Most of all, Ron was a soul mate, best friend, lifelong companion and finally caregiver, to his wife June. His devotion to her, and hers to him, was an inspiration.

In the last five years he took great pleasure in becoming an active part of the community at the Devonshire Mews, where he continued to make friends and help out where he was needed.

All who knew him refer to him as a true gentleman. His family knew him as a very good man, with a twinkle in his eye, a perceptive sense of humour and great hugs.

The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of the Leduc Community Hospital, the Edmonton General Hospital Mel Miller Hospice, Ron’s long time family physician Dr. Hari Chana and Dr. Charles Butts of the Cross Cancer Institute for their care and attention.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the charity of your choice.