I have many good memories of Ron Oney over the years I knew him. I knew him as a friend in high school and developed a closer friendship in college at SD Tech. We both started in Chemical Engineering, then Electrical Engineering, and finally Mathematics in our sophomore year. (Too much time in labs cramped our style, I guess!)
We were partners on the Tech debate team and traveled throughout South Dakota and one trip to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ron won a superior in the Discussion competition at that tournament. His speaking and more importantly, listening skills portended his eventual career in counseling. Any time you were talking to Ron, he devoted his full energy to you. At that time, no matter who was there, you were the only person in the room.
I could tell many stories of our good times in college. Ron was also a groomsman at my wedding. But I will focus on 2015. Ron was battling cancer, and he really looked forward to Tech's reunion. We had a good time with him and a number of friends at the reunion, but many were unable to attend.
Ron decided to organize a reunion of the OES (Origin of the Earth Society) members, a group of us who attempted to discover the origin of the earth through various caving, hiking, and other expeditions. We convened on September 26-27 at Camp Remington, the Episcopal camp close to the Needles, where Ron and Sharon were married. Camp Remington is very rustic: no electricity or potable water. Nancy and I brought our camper, Gary and Pat Hamilton brought theirs. Friends from near and far showed up: the Hamilton's and us, Dave and Rhonda Olson, Stu Calhoun, Paul Crosmer, Clair Menning, Ron & Nita Eikenberry, Don Rivers, Pete Oslund, and Jim Quinn.
It was an epic weekend with good food, drink, and memories. My point in sharing this is to highlight Ron's courage in his fight against cancer and to share what he meant to so many people. His motto, "It's all good!" was a theme at Camp Remington and at his memorial.