Ronald “Ronnybear” Ahlberg died from complications of muscular dystrophy on Jan. 20 at his home in The Dalles, Ore.
Ron was born in Straubing, Germany, on July 21, 1955, and immigrated to the United States in 1959 with his mother, Isolde (Rachny), and father, Albert Ahlberg. The family settled in Prineville, Ore. where Ron attended school and graduated from Crook County High School in 1973. Ron also attended Mt. Hood Community College and became the first in his family to receive a college diploma. He eventually settled in The Dalles, Ore., where he served his community as a member of the City Council, the School Board, and the Planning Commission.
Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child, Ron always pushed the limits of his body; he liked cars and motorcycles, he traveled throughout the United States, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and he even received an award for scuba diving. A musician in school band (saxophone), Ron developed a lifelong love for music, leading him to become a DJ and radio broadcaster for Central Oregon’s KRCO while still in high school. In college he refined his broadcasting talent and also learned the art of multi-media communications. He was ultimately hired by his alma mater as a communications technician and he also did freelance work in broadcasting and media.
Following his retirement from full-time employment, Ron’s skill in technology and communications found a new home with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as he divested himself of his time and talents each year to brighten the lives of hundreds of campers and their families at the MDA summer camps. Ron the techie would transform into “Ronnybear” the camp comedian and compassionate friend.
A caring husband, father, and friend, Ron is survived by his wife, Jill Knight-Ahlberg; his children, Mara R. Ahlberg, and Ezekiel T. Ahlberg; and his step-children, Amy Knight and Christopher Knight. He is also survived by his father, Albert & Clara Ahlberg, sister, Debbie (Lee) Ahlberg-Ziegler; brother, Tom (Jenice) Ahlberg; step-brother, Jerry (Justine) Hill; Step-sisters, Sherrie (Ron) Rhoden, and Sheila Small; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Isolde (Rachny) Ahlberg.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
There will be a viewing on Friday, Jan. 24, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Spencer, Libby & Powell Funeral Home, 1100 Kelly Ave, The Dalles, Ore. Plans for a celebration of life service at Bethany Lutheran to be announced in the coming week.
A graveside service and interment will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, at Juniper Haven Cemetery, 1555 N Main St, Prineville, Ore. A reception will follow at New Life Bible Chapel, 510 W. 4th Street.
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