What a daunting task to pay tribute to a person who touched so many lives. Ron’s passing away on Sunday, September 12, 2021 was the culmination of 23 years of innumerable medical challenges, which he battled so tenaciously and successfully for the sake and love of his family and friends. He was the poster boy for medical miracles.
His family meant the world to him, and he was so fiercely proud of them. He is survived by his devoted wife of 36 years Cathy and his two loving sons, Damon and Kent; beautiful daughters-in-law Alyse and Lisa; wonderful grandchildren Nicholas, Kelly, Katie, Ryan, and Olivia; loving sister Roberta Waterman; his much loved nephews Keith, Craig, and Kirk and his wife Stephanie and grandnieces Shannon, Alyssa, and Summer, and grandnephew John; his beloved niece Darcy and husband Bruce and their son DJ and wife Brianna and their son Donovan; a myriad of cousins Esther, Ruth, Mark and his wife Linnea and their children, and Gloria Vallerga and her husband Fred and their children; his steadfast and very supportive sister-in–law Gloria Pickhover, and his much adored nieces Allison and Shelby.
He was born on February 9, 1941 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (same hospital as Joe Namath, as he would say) to a very loving but strict father Elvidio, and adoring mother Armandina. His sister Roberta was the first-born, and with a chuckle, he always had to remind everyone that she was older than him. The family migrated from Pennsylvania to southern California where he grew up during his formative years. As a Catholic school student, he sometimes misbehaved and was readily disciplined by the priests and nuns. He claimed he had the scars to prove it. He graduated California State University in Los Angeles with a BA in Sociology (one semester during his tenure they asked him not to return, having had too much fun as a Sigma Nu member). Finally, having to support a family and get a real job, he found his passion and penchant for selling Telecommunications services and worked as a marketing manager at AT&T, PacBell, and MCI. Before developing and launching his own practice Pellegrini & Associates, he was a consulting director with Coopers & Lybrand, KPMG, and Price Waterhouse.
He met his wife Cathy at Coopers & Lybrand, San Francisco where they were both consultants. After stalking her in the coffee room and by the copier, he asked her out on a date to a Halloween party. Four years later, they were married. He adamantly claimed that he had to save her from life-long spinsterhood.
Despite his health complications, he had a rich and very large life. He loved to travel and seek new adventures. He and his friend Ken Hilden would often take roads (sometimes alleys) less traveled to see what kind of trouble they could get into. He loved to cook and try out new and daring recipes but was never one for cleaning up. But most of all, he loved people; he adored his family. He mastered the art of insulting someone directly to their face, but at the same time, making that person feel special and thankful that he did that. His dear friends Patty (his second sister) and Joanne (along with his wife) would say that they sometimes found him quite irritating, but couldn’t help but love and adore him. As he profoundly loved and cared for people, they in turn deeply cared for him. With great love and gratitude the family thanks Dr. Alan Uyeno for saving Ron’s life 23 years ago and tirelessly trying to save his life on September 12. Ron was so very blessed to have had Alan’s ongoing and caring friendship throughout the years. He was also so very fortunate to have Alan’s wife Patty as a second sister and friend. She was always there to help him. The family would like to also thank some special people who loved and supported him: Ken and Linda Hilden, Ken and Joanne Smith, Alberto Delgado, Maureen and the late Joe McGinley and family, Mary and the late Larry Watkins, Larry and Nancy Lewis, Ray and Pat McCaskey, Jody and Ron Bruckel, Gerard and Toni McNulty, the late Dr. William Sweezer, Dr. Murray Sheldon, Dr. Sylvia Chi, Dr. Yulie Hadi, Leann Hervey, Edison Franco, Melecio Aspuria, Kathy Mercado, and last but not least, all of the gentlemen in the Discovery Bay Friday Golf Group and their spouses as well as all of his poker buddies and Catholic school friends. The family is forever grateful and blessed that he continues to have such a large circle of love and prayers.
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