It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ron Warder at the age of 64. He passed away early Wednesday morning, April 11th, at Royal Jubilee Hospital with his family.
Ron passed from complications of Parkinson’s, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease. He spent much of his adult life valiantly battling these conditions with exceptional grace, humour and perseverance. He was an inspiration to all.
Ron retired from the Sooke School District in June 2013, after a 33 year career. He retired from the position of Assistant Superintendent. Prior to that, Ron was Director of Instruction, Principal of John Stubbs, Principal of David Cameron, Principal of Happy Valley and Vice-Principal at Willway, Happy Valley and Sangster. He started his teaching career at Ruth King.
He was President of the Sooke Teachers’ Association from 1985-90; he bargained the first collective agreement for the teachers’ union in the district. Many of the basic rights afforded to teachers nowadays (such as seniority) were directly a result of Ron’s work over those many months of bargaining.
When Ron became a Principal, he again took up the mantle of leadership by becoming the President of the Sooke Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association. He also held positions on the provincial executive.
Born and raised in Esquimalt, Ron, also known as Captain Canada, attended Esquimalt Secondary where he was class President. He often spoke proudly of his Esquimalt upbringing.
Aside from the education sector, Ron was an active political leader in both the municipal and provincial levels. In his twenties, Ron was elected Alderman in Esquimalt (1980-85) and later Mayor of Esquimalt from 1987-90. Ron also served as the National Chair of the Federal Parole Citizens’ Committee.
Ron will be best remembered for his political acumen and keen wit. A gifted public speaker, his dry wit would often break a sombre mood or elevate people to action. Ron was in his element when there was a tough problem to solve, on the floor of a political convention, averting a potential strike, or driving action to mobilize public concern. These were the times when his leadership truly showed.
A lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan, Ron had many years of teasing in the spring when the Habs would miss the playoffs once again. During the playoffs and off-season, Ron could often be seen driving around Greater Victoria listening to Queen, Eric Clapton, and Canucks games on C-FAX 1070 (when they didn’t miss the playoffs too!). His love of all technology and gadgets was famous, especially if he thought you might have a newer version of something he owned!
Since his retirement, Ron’s focus was the pride he had for his family. He is loved and survived by many, including his wife, Chris, his children Sarah (Brian) and Nick (Kara), step-son Tristan, granddaughter Audrey, sister Donna, and nephew Stephen (Rebecca and Anya).
A Celebration of Life will be held in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens in Royal Oak – 4665 Falaise Drive on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be directed to the charity of your choice or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, or to Parkinson’s research.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
DEBRA TOLMANApril 20, 2018
Corrine MerxApril 15, 2018
louise francisApril 14, 2018
Dawn FrancisApril 13, 2018
Darryl CorryApril 13, 2018
Robin KilistoffApril 12, 2018
Julia SahotaApril 12, 2018
Adrien BrownApril 12, 2018
Bob BelcherApril 12, 2018